Greg Hardy is now 2-1 inside the Octagon and coming off of a TKO win over Juan Adams at UFC San Antonio. Many thought “The Kraken” would be the one to stop the former NFL star in his tracks, yet that was not the case.
Now, after two straight knockout wins, the question of what is next for Hardy is something many people are interested in. He could very well get a ranked opponent next, and according to Dan Lambert, everyone at American Top Team wants that to happen.
“Obviously, as you are progressing as a fighter you have to go up the rankings and fight more difficult opponents. Heavyweight is a little different because once you get outside of the top-seven or eight the differences in skillset from 10 to 15 aren’t huge. But yeah, Greg wants ranked opponents and we want those too,” Lambert told BJPenn.com. “A lot of people thought Adams would be the person to derail the hype and obviously we saw what happened.”
Although Hardy has a troubling background, Lambert says he is one of the nicest people in the gym. He is trying to move beyond his past issues and focus on his fighting career, and at American Top Team, they are glad to have him there.
“Greg is obviously very green but athletically he is a total beast. I would have loved it if he did this 10 years ago to have molded him as a fighter. He comes into the gym and keeps his head down and works,” he explained. “It is yes sir, no sir and yes ma’am, no ma’am when he speaks to people. He just comes and does his work. It is just nice to see him reap those benefits.”
Even with Hardy having only six professional fights, Lambert says he sees him getting better every day. The ATT owner says it is fun seeing him in the gym and knows he can be something special in MMA.
How good he be will be is to be seen. But, Dan Lambert points out Matt Mitrione, who was a former NFL player and made the transition and is a perennial top-10 heavyweight. But, he says Hardy is a better athlete which makes him have a better ceiling than the current Bellator fighter.
“Matt Mitrione is a good fighter and has had success. He is farther ahead of Greg skill-wise. But, I don’t think they are in the same league athletically. So, yeah I think that is a fair comparison but I think Greg has a higher ceiling,” Lambert concluded.
Do you think Greg Hardy should get a ranked opponent next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 8/6/2019.