Greg Hardy picked up his first UFC victory last Saturday at UFC Fort Lauderdale with a Round 1 TKO of Dmitrii Smoliakov. But what has been perhaps the largest subject of conversation, isn’t Hardy’s dominant victory, but the lackluster performance of Smoliakov, which even drew criticism from UFC President Dana White himself. Hardy’s take on it is that he’s just fighting whomever is put in front of him, and in this case, that was an “experienced UFC fighter” in Smoliakov (transcript via MMA Fighting):
“Really, the only people that do want to fight me are the people that haven’t been in there with me yet,” Hardy told TMZ. “It’s a dangerous game and those punches aren’t coming light. At the end of the day, my record is like 4-1, 3-1 or whatever. My man was 9-2. These are experienced UFC fighters, I’m two years in. I feel like can, no can, there’s two naked men in there trying to kill each other so it’s exactly what they asked for.”
Ultimately, Greg Hardy believes it does not matter whom he faces right now because his flight up the UFC pecking order will eventually lead him to the top tier:
“They got sick of me fighting on the local scene, they wanted to throw me in there with some UFC opponents, that’s what’s happened right now,” Hardy continued. “Now they’re gonna be picky about which UFC opponents. It’s just gonna keep happening until inevitably I’m up there fighting Stipe [Miocic] or Derrick [Lewis] or somebody like that. So keep it coming. I’m gonna keep improving. Keep watching. I know it’s gonna keep being entertaining as hell.”
Greg Hardy is eager to get right back to work, which happens to also be his institution of higher learning:
“As soon as possible,” Hardy said. “I’m gonna head back to the drawing board because at the same time as I’m an active fighter, I’m also a student of the game, so I’ve got to get back in there and finish my education.”
Whom would you like to see Greg Hardy face next?