Back in January, controversial former NFL star Greg Hardy made his UFC debut opposite Allen Crowder. This debut ended in chaos, as Hardy was disqualified after bombing Crowder with an illegal knee.
Despite this blunder, Hardy was given a second shot in the UFC’s Octagon. This sophomore outing occurred back in April. This time around, he got the win he was seeking, pelting the outmatched Dmitrii Smoliakov to a decisive first-round TKO win.
Greg Hardy will make his third UFC appearance this weekend, when he battles dangerous heavyweight prospect Juan Adams on the main card of UFC San Antonio.
The former football player says he has evolved a lot since his DQ loss in his UFC debut, and believes that we’ll see more proof of that evolution in San Antonio.
Much of his evolution, he says, has to do with staying calm amid the chaos of a mixed martial arts bout.
“I’m a more calm, more happy, more deadly version of myself,” Hardy told MMA Junkie ahead of his fight with Adams. “I found the peace in violence. I found my spot. I found my niche, and I feel good about it. Nobody can take it away.”
Greg Hardy says he attained a similar groove during his football career, and that he’s just now finding it as a mixed martial artist.
“A long time ago, I found my place,” he said. “I found a home amongst the elite in the world, the nation, the 1 percent of the 1 percent. To be there, to be a part of that club, you had to be in that zone. You had to be in that zone consistently, every day, with half the world shunning you, looking down on you, hating your team.
“It’s a place you had to go, and I’m slowly but surely finding that place in MMA and fight sports, and I find myself every now and then getting into that zone.”
As he continues to evolve, Greg Hardy is confident that he’ll eventually capture the UFC heavyweight title.
“I am going for the heavyweight gold,” he said. “I’m here to take everything that everybody loves and adores and put it around my waist.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/18/2019.