Former NFL Star Greg Hardy is One of the Most Controversial Fighters in the UFC… The Fans Don’t Like Him But He Keeps Getting Pushed in their Faces… Something Has to Give…
Greg Hardy allegedly assaulted his ex-girlfriend and threw her onto a pile of guns, before threatening to kill her. He was initially sentenced to 18 months of probation, with a suspended 60-day jail sentence. However, when he appealed and the alleged victim failed to show up in court, the charges were dropped by the prosecutor.
UFC fans have not forgotten about this. It might seem strange, but fight fans don’t really want an alleged wife-beater as a role model or superstar. Why then is the UFC shoving Greg Hardy in everybody’s faces? He’s only fought twice with the promotion, but both were co-main events against practically unknown opponents.
With a DQ on his debut and an absolute sham of an opponent in his second UFC fight, would it not be smarter to build him up slowly, letting him acclimatise to the UFC and rehabilitate his reputation, instead of sticking him in the spotlight straight away. Yes, he has raw talent and some name recognition but he’s still getting booed.
‘The Prince of War’ is definitely unpopular with fans. In his first fight against the average but game Allen Crowder, he was heavily booed on his way out to the octagon. Crowder got a lot of support from fans when he began to push back against Hardy who gassed out quickly. Then the former footballer earned the contempt of many watching viewers when he landed a blatantly illegal knee.
His second fight in Fort Lauderdale was bad for a different reason. This was also a co-main event, against Russian fighter Dimitri Smoliakov. Smoliakov literally lay down on his back and let Hardy hit him in one of the most shambolic performances we’ve ever seen in the UFC. Then as soon as Hardy was handed the microphone for his post-fight interview he was booed. This isn’t hating, it’s fact.
Can we not just set Derrick Lewis on every woman beater?
— Tommy 👊🏻 (@FightFanTommy) April 28, 2019
Fellow UFC heavyweight Juan Adams is pushing for a fight against Hardy. He slammed the state of his last fight against Smoliakov and how people are seeing through the Hardy product.
Pathetic,” Adams said. “It was just ridiculous. It looked like the guy was scared to do anything. I’m not going to say much, but I think it’s ridiculous how they’re trying to push such a poor product on people. The people have spoken like, ‘We don’t want to see that crap. It’s not a good fight, he’s not a good fighter.’ He’s had cans his entire career. The most legit opponent he’s fought was Allen Crowder. Like, c’mon. He’s no world beater.
Every point in his career, he’s taken the easiest fight available. Every point in my career I’ve taken the best guy available, who the best guy was that’s going to come at me. It shows when we fight. I fight guys on my level on paper that are supposed to be better than me, and I still come out on top. He fights a guy that’s another up-and-comer and gets DQ’d because he’s scared he’s going to lose right away.
— Rush Inbot (@TeamStradley) April 28, 2019
Former UFC middleweight champion Michael Bisping agrees that Hardy’s recent opponent at UFC Fort Lauderdale looked atrocious. He could have been a randomer pulled out of a burger joint because he was totally useless. However, Bisping believes the ESPN fanbase is the reason why Hardy is being so heavily promoted. On a recent episode of his Believe You Me Podcast, he said:
“Listen, the guy looked terrible. His opponent Dimitri Smoliakov, he looked terrible he did. The UFC, I think they realize that Greg Hardy has all the makings to be a star regardless of his controversial background. He’s got a head start, people from the sport will know who he is, a lot of the fan base from ESPN will know who he is for maybe his football or for maybe some of the negative headlines that no doubt dominated the ESPN SportsCenter pages when it was happening, so they know who he is.”
If ‘The Count’ says it, then it must be true.