UFC president Dana White says he didn’t expect heavyweight Greg Hardy to last as long in the UFC as he has following the Contender Series.
After an up-and-down NFL career that saw Hardy make it to the Pro Bowl in 2013 only to leave the league two years later following a domestic violence incident, Hardy made the transition to mixed martial arts and won three fights between 2017 and 2018. After winning two fights by knockout on the Contender Series and another one in Xtreme Fight Night, White took a shot on Hardy and signed him despite being very green with just three pro fights.
Since joining the UFC in January 2019, Hardy has racked up a 4-3, 1 NC record in the UFC. He looked like he was on his way to breaking into the top-15 before a recent TKO loss to Marcin Tybura halted his momentum. Despite losing his last fight, White says he’s still been impressed with what Hardy has done since making the transition from the NFL to MMA. In fact, White told the “SHOUT!” Buffalo Podcast that Hardy has lasted longer in the UFC than he first thought.
“He looked damn good. He lost that last fight, but he looked damn good in it right up until he lost. He’s done very well here. I didn’t expect him to possibly stick around this long, especially in this heavyweight division. There’s some nasty guys, but he’s done very well. It’s funny because the football guys seem to be the guys that like to cross over into MMA,” White said.
At age 32, Hardy is actually one of the UFC youngest heavyweights. Now with 11 pro bouts, he’s starting to gain the experience necessary to make a run up the UFC heavyweight ladder. But if the fight against Tybura showed anything, it’s that Hardy still has a lot of work to do. Still, for a guy who didn’t come from an MMA background, to stick around the UFC as long as he has is impressive.
Do you agree with Dana White that Greg Hardy has done better in the UFC than expected?