Greg Hardy enjoyed the experience of fighting in an empty arena last weekend, because it meant he could hear everything the cage-side commentators were saying—and one of those commentators happened to be former two-division champ Daniel Cormier.
Hardy took on Yorgan De Castro in the main card opener of last Saturday’s UFC 249 event in Jacksonville, Florida. Early in the fight, Hardy ate a procession of damaging leg kicks from his foe, but when he heard Cormier suggest he should start checking kicks, he adjusting accordingly, and ended up winning the fight by decision.
“It’s like having 77 coaches. Daniel Cormier back there like ‘If he doesn’t check this kick he’s going to lose that front leg.’ I heard everything.”
— MMAFighting.com (@MMAFighting) May 11, 2020
“It’s so dope,” Hardy said. “It’s like having 77 coaches. You’ve got Daniel Cormier back there saying ‘hey, if he doesn’t check those [kicks] he’s going to lose his front leg.’
“I heard everything,” Hardy added. “I could hear my coaches, I could hear my own individual instruction, I could hear De Castro’s coaches. It was super sweet.”
While the lack of fans in the arena was certainly beneficial for Hardy, this is an issue the UFC might need to address going forward, as it could create unfair advantages during fights. After all, Hardy is not the only fighter on the bill to mention he could hear what Cormier was saying. UFC strawweight contender Carla Esparza, who fought Michelle Waterson on the undercard, admitted she could also hear the commentary, and adjusted her gameplan accordingly
With his win over Yorgan De Castro, Greg Hardy rebounded from a decision loss to former Bellator heavyweight champion Alexander Volkov. Who do you want to see the former NFL star fight next?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.com on 5/11/2020.