Greg Hardy’s UFC debut did not go according to plan. The former NFL star co-headlined the UFC’s broadcast debut on an ESPN platform. He and Allen Crowder fought in a heavyweight contest at UFC on ESPN+ 1. However, in the second round of the fight, Hardy nailed Crowder with an illegal knee to the face. The fight was stopped and Hardy was defeated via disqualification. Shortly after, on an episode of his podcast, longtime UFC commentator Joe Rogan offered his thoughts.
He called Hardy’s debut “terrible”, and deemed it “a joke.” Rogan revisited the situation on yesterday’s podcast with UFC bantamweight champion TJ Dillashaw. Rogan said that Hardy simply wasn’t ready for the co-main event slot. Especially with fans and casual spectators being used to high-level action from the likes of Dillashaw and flyweight champion Henry Cejudo (via Bloody Elbow):
“You’re watching the highest level of fights,” Rogan said. “You’re watching the co-main event. He’s just not ready for a co-main event. He rushed out, he gassed out, he burned himself out and Crowder recovered.
“The way it should be is you should have the early fights for people who are learning the sport. And then you get to the last couple of fights, the co-main and the main, you’re supposed to be seeing assassins like you and Henry Cejudo.”
Different Co-Main Event
Rogan and Dillashaw then agreed the UFC easily could’ve put the fight between Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone and Alexander Hernandez in the co-main event slot instead. Cerrone finished Hernandez in the second round with a head-kick knock out:
“There’s another fight they could have put in place of that,” Rogan said. “A hundred percent. And again, this is not a knock on Crowder or Hardy. They’re guys out there doing it, they’re trying, they did their job, they’re fighting. The ending was super unfortunate.
“Again, you don’t know whether or not he did it on purpose. Look, you’re getting punched in the face. It’s chaos.”
What do you think about Rogan’s comments on Hardy’s UFC debut?