Greg Hardy will always have to handle criticism from fans and fellow fighters when it comes to being accused of domestic violence in 2014. That being said, he says he’s received some support from two female UFC stars in Amanda Nunes and Rachael Ostovich.
When Hardy was booked to make his UFC debut against Allen Crowder at UFC on ESPN+ 1, a lot of people were critical of the organization for putting the former pro bowl defensive end on the same card with Ostovich, who was a victim of domestic violence at the hands of her ex-husband Arnold Berdon.
Hardy’s debut ended with an illegal strike and a disqualification loss.
“The Prince of War” returned to the Octagon on Saturday night at UFC San Antonio against Juan Adams and had a short night at the office, picking up an opening round finish in just 45 seconds following a flurry of unanswered punches.
A video of Hardy’s celebration following the victory was shared to the former NFLer’s Instagram page, which was then liked by Ostovich. While speaking to TMZ Sports, Hardy was asked about the support he has received from, not only Ostovich, but several well-known female fighters.
“Oh yeah, man (it means a lot to have support from Rachael),” Hardy said. “Even when I met her and the way she handled it, and her situation, having cool people like her, Amanda Nunes, Joanna (Jędrzejczyk) in our gym, Kayla (Harrison), there’s a lot of young to veteran fighters — female wise — that always give me support, that are always super cool with me. They are giving me the opportunity to just get to know me and judge for themselves. It’s meant so much to me and it has helped me get over a lot of those crazy days, crazy humps.”
Following the crazy ending to his UFC debut, Hardy bounced back with a knockout win over Dmitrii Smolyakov at UFC Fort Lauderdale in April. With a little over three minutes of Octagon time under his belt, along with two finishes, he believes that the entertainment factor he brings to his fights, bundled with his recent interactions with fans in public, has the MMA community beginning to turn the corner.
“It’s been good,” Hardy said. “I wouldn’t say I’m winning people over but I think people are actually getting the chance to know me. They’re getting to know the actual Greg Hardy, seeing me out in public, seeing me interact with the fans. There are people more on my side. I think I’m entertaining a lot of the world and I think people are being (more) accepting, giving me the chance to prove — not just forgiving me or this, that and the other — but just giving me the chance to prove who I am.”
Do you feel like Greg Hardy is beginning to gain acceptance from the MMA community?
This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 7/23/2019.