Greg Hardy Believes UFC Debut Was Wake-Up Call

Greg Hardy
Image Credit: Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) heavyweight Greg Hardy says he feels humbled after a disastrous promotional debut.

Back in January, Hardy made his UFC debut against Allen Crowder. The controversial NFL star was given a chance on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series due to his name and athletic background. Hardy earned two finishes on the series in a matter of seconds. Following a 53-second knockout win on the regional circuit, Hardy was given the co-main event slot at UFC on ESPN+ 1. He lost the bout via disqualification after landing an illegal knee to a downed opponent.

Greg Hardy Speaks On What UFC Debut Taught Him

Hardy spoke to MMAFighting.com and revealed his biggest takeaways from the first loss of his professional mixed martial arts career:

“It’s very true, man. It helps you look more. I wasn’t looking for my flaws when I was winning. Like, I couldn’t see them, I didn’t want to see them. And since I got the loss, I’m a little more humble than I was, which is always a good thing. And you start looking and you start seeing the things where you really messed up. … I’ve had a lot of years of football so I’ve been in control of power for a very long time. Even though you can hit a quarterback, it’s not always in your best interest. Sometimes [being penalized] 15 yards will f*ck your team more than a hit. And it’s just those kind of decisions I’m finding, just because I can knock someone out doesn’t mean I should go for it.

“You’ve got to control these things because there are no timeouts, there are no breaks. You’re in a cage, nobody can save you, man, and you’ve got to make these decisions. That’s the kind of things I’m finding out, and you’ve got to have a humble mind for that, because power’s a drug, man. Power is a drug. In this sport, it’s dangerous. It’ll gas you. You saw me. I was bloodthirsty. The man said he was going to kill me — I wanted to separate him from his consciousness so bad that I energy-dumped everything after I told myself not to energy dump. And you’ve just gotta deal with those kind of things, because you’ve got to be honest. Like honestly, it’s not, ‘Oh, I made a mistake.’ I was cocky. Gotta humble myself.”

Hardy is set to clash with Dmitry Smolyakov this Saturday night (April 27). The bout will serve as UFC Fort Lauderdale’s co-main event.