Greg Hardy got his first UFC win last night when he beat Dmitrii Smoliakov by first-round TKO. For most of the fight, it seemed like Smoliakov was back peddling and as soon as the former NFL star hit him, it appeared the Russian wanted nothing to do with it.
Smoliakov struggled from the get-go, and UFC President Dana White is not sure how he has nine wins on his record. That being said, White refuted the claim it was a so-called ‘set up fight’ for Hardy.
“I’m not gonna say that I loved that fight,” White said at the UFC Fort Lauderdale post-fight presser (transcript via MMAFighting). “You guys know, I’ve been doing this for 20 years, we don’t do set-up fights for anybody. And if I was a fan and probably some of the media, the way some of the media acts, I would think that was—I don’t know who the f*ck that guy beat in nine fights, but I’d like to see the nine guys he beat. That was weird.”
Although Smoliakov struggled in the fight, Greg Hardy did come into the fight prepared. He looked much better in his second Octagon appearance, and White was complimentary of his handiwork.
“Not to take anything away from Hardy,” White said. “Hardy came in in great shape, Hardy doesn’t make fights, me and my guys do, and Hardy came in and better shape and he did what he had to do. He treated that guy like he was supposed to.”
Greg Hardy is now 1-1 in the UFC and showed he has legitimate knockout power. He’ll certainly get another shot in the UFC soon, though his opponent will probably not be so lucky.
“No, I mean, that guy’s record is 9-2,” White said of Smoliakov. “I want to see the nine guys he beat, they might be in this room right now, actually.”
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 4/28/2019.