Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Dana White and Greg Hardy Address Contender Series Backlash

Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series kicks off its second season later tonight, and it already has one controversial decision.

When it was announced that Greg Hardy would be participating in this season of The Contender Series, it was met with heavy criticism, given Hardy’s widely publicized past domestic violence charges from 2014 that resulted in a suspended 60-day jail sentence and 18 months of probation. According to White, though, these charges don’t exist:

“Everybody deserves a second chance. And the guy was never charged with anything, he was never sentenced or anything like that. We’re going to give him a shot.”

White also vouches for the former All-Pro defensive lineman, who has already received his second conviction in the court of public opinion:

“I guess he had a real bad drug and alcohol problem. Started to get into MMA. Cleaned himself up. If you talk to anybody he trains with, male or female, they say that he’s a very good guy. He’s very humble.”

It will be interesting to see how Hardy is portrayed in the Season 2 premiere, as a significant part of the Contender Series product is to tell the story of the fighters, make them relatable to the viewer, and give everybody a chance to be the good guy to a certain extent. Given the public nature of Hardy’s past and the nature of the charges brought against him, getting the fans on Hardy’s side will be difficult to achieve for many, and downright impossible for others. Some of what we can expect to hear from Hardy was released in a quote published by ESPN.com earlier today:

“Get to know me first. Meet me. That would be a good start,” Hardy said. “Give me the opportunity you would give anybody else. Look forward to watching me on TV and come out and enjoy the event, whether it’s to see me get beat up or see me excel. Then make an opinion — and I’ll respect it.”

The Contender Series will reintroduce the world to Greg Hardy and you can expect him to be packaged as another guy like you and me chasing a dream, along with all the other fighters. Something to remember in the midst of all the noise Hardy’s blitz onto UFC headlines is making is that he is not under UFC contract yet. In fact, even with a victory tonight, he still may not be under UFC contract, as only fighters with the most stand-out performances are given a contract, with only one contract being guaranteed per episode. Tune in to the Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series tonight at 8PM Eastern, 5PM Pacific to learn the fate of Greg Hardy and the nine other fighters who will be featured on the Fight Pass exclusive.

Do you think Greg Hardy is deserving of this second chance?

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