UFC on ESPN 1 gave fight fans across the world a lot of new things to talk about, namely… Greg Hardy. The former NFL defensive end made his official UFC debut on January 19th. Hardy was disqualified from the fight at 2:28 of the second round for an illegal kick to the head while Allen Crowder was in a defenseless position. While he did earn the loss, there was no mistaking that Hardy had him hurt and could have been on his way to winning his first official UFC fight.
So what can we make of the phenomena that is Greg Hardy? The maniacal dual athlete has earned himself quite a bit of traction after that Saturday night DQ. When I say maniacal, I don’t necessarily mean that he’s a maniac. I’m just referring to that one time he threw his girlfriend on the couch, strangled her, and threatened to kill her with all his guns laying out in the open. So there’s that.
Is He… All There?
Making the transition from the NFL to the UFC is not an easy thing to do. The former pro bowler is trying to change his reputation as an athlete and a public figure by leaving his past transgressions behind in the NFL, and attempting to practice professional mixed martial arts in the UFC. And when I say “attempting to practice,” I actually mean to say pulverize. Before Saturday night, Hardy registered 3 first round knockouts in his first three MMA fights. All of them were under one minute.
UFC on ESPN 1 showed fight fans a couple things. The first is that Greg Hardy is much too inexperienced of a fighter. He needs more time in the octagon to get used to the ring and the rules. The disqualification was a rookie mistake that should not have happened. Crowder and Hardy were going at it pretty viciously. The fight was probably leaning in Hardy’s favor. Crowder did manage to put the former NFL defensive end on his back, however he also ate a lot of big shots.
Hardy will definitely have to work on his ground game and cardio going forward. That fight may have been stopped, but his future opponents might try and neutralize Hardy in those areas. His game is made up of brute strength and aggressiveness. His hands are very quick and powerful. There won’t be too many fighters willing to stand with him and take the onslaught that he brings to the table.
Will Greg Hardy ever become a UFC champion? He needs to improve a lot, but I still don’t know if his ceiling is there yet. However, I do see him as a top 10 fighter in the heavyweight division going forward. Greg Hardy is officially everyone’s favorite fighter to talk about.