Greg Hardy will be in familiar territory on Saturday night. The former pro bowler will enter the Octagon for the second time in his career and will be the co-main event once again.
Although some disagree with Hardy getting the spot, the 30-year-old is quite happy with co-headliner status.
“It’s like being in the Super Bowl back to back,” Hardy told MMA Junkie at media day. “It’s like being in a playoff game over and over again. It gives me confidence. I’ve got the opportunity to come out, show what I’ve got. The powers that be believe in me. It’s a great feeling.”
The hope for Hardy is the fight turns out much better than his last. In January, he took on Allen Crowder. In the third round, the former NFL star landed an illegal knee which resulted in a disqualification and the first loss on Hardy’s record.
Ultimately, Hardy says he has moved past that, with the help of his American Top Team coaches and teammates.
“We took some time, watched the film, calmed down after an aggressive fight, and just broke the fight down and moved forward,” Hardy said. “It was actually a fun process. … It was more just me being a young fighter. Not heeding all my coaches’ advice with all the adrenaline and this, this and the other. I don’t do nerves. I’ve been a professional athlete too long.”
In the end, Hardy is more than ready for his second UFC fight. ‘The Prince of War’ knows he will get his first UFC win on Saturday as he believes he has too many tools compared to Smoliakov.
“I don’t think I match up with anybody,” Hardy said. “I think I might be the biggest person in the UFC. Hopefully, I’m the fastest, one of the most athletic. I think the only difference between me and everybody else is my intelligence in the game and my training experience. I’ve been working every day tirelessly trying to catch up on that, but athletically and physically, there’s no comparison.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/25/2019.