Greg Hardy is off to a strong start in his MMA career despite being disqualified in his UFC debut in January. Hardy has swiftly moved past that setback by winning his next two UFC bouts via 1st round TKO, and the hype has officially commenced on what the future may hold for his UFC career. If Hardy makes good on that hype, he will look to continue to learn from another UFC heavyweight who was able to start his career with KO/TKOs only for a hole in his game to be revealed when he reached a championship opportunity: Francis Ngannou.
“Francis Ngannou is a fighter that has athletic ability. He’s not an athlete,” Hardy said of Ngannou on The Slip ‘n Dip Podcast. “Just seeing what happened to Francis with Stipe was a warning, but from the beginning, I always told everybody I want to be a well-rounded fighter. I don’t want to focus on one thing and be one-dimensional. I want to be the man. And the only way you can do that is to take over.”
Greg Hardy’s comments on Francis Ngannou’s lack of athleticism is not an observation exclusive to Ngannou, but something Hardy has noticed about MMA fighters in general:
“I don’t think there’s that many out there, though,” Hardy said of ‘athlete fighters.’ “It’s starting to come alive. It’s starting to be OK to come over, but most people been in the fight game so long they lost (athleticism) and conformed to the basic movement.”
One person Hardy accredited to being a show of athleticism in the sport is AT&T teammate Amanda Nunes. Hardy also believes there are a handful of football players who, if they made the move over to MMA, could excel because of their athleticism. But whether Hardy is a fighter who is an athlete or an athlete who is a fighter, he is beginning to show promise and will look to continue refining his game so that he has no exposable holes, lest he suffer the same fate as Francis Ngannou did in his first title opportunity.
Do you believe Greg Hardy has the potential to achieve what Francis Ngannou has in the UFC?