Let’s start off by being frank: The business side of MMA is almost as cutthroat and aggressive as the sport itself. Any fighter can be cut at any time from his or her promotion, oftentimes without advanced notice to the affected athlete, and that’s what may end up happening to one of the UFC’s most polarizing figures.
On the night of July 9, inside T-Mobile Arena at UFC 264, Greg Hardy was obliterated by Tai Tuivasa (first-round knockout due to ground and pound). The knockout marked Hardy’s second loss in a row and his third defeat in his last five outings.
Following UFC 264, Hardy has posted a 7-4 record with one no-contest in 12 career MMA bouts, but now, UFC President Dana White has a most interesting decision to make in the aftermath of the promotion’s most recent flagship event.
White Questioning Greg Hardy’s UFC Future
During the UFC 264 post-fight press conference, White was quoted as saying the following regarding “The Prince of War”:
“Tonight was a big night for him,” White replied, “Tonight was a really big night. Tai Tuivasa would have been a real win for him. So I don’t know what this means for him tonight.”
Hardy Responds To White’s Comments
In the aftermath of Dana White’s remarks during the UFC 264 post-fight presser, Hardy took to his Instagram page and posted the following:
“Talk n (expletive deleted) all of 2021. It’s mevsme. I have to stop making rookie mistakes. There is not (expletive deleted) excuse for that (expletive deleted) but my real ones know you can’t kill the kraken and you for damn sure can’t kill the prince. So bring it. I’ll be back. Thank you to the @ufc and good (expletive deleted) by @bambamtuivasa all respect and great win.”
This all presents a very valid question as it relates to the former NFL defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys and the Carolina Panthers:
Is Greg Hardy’s UFC Tenure Over?
The 32-year-old heavyweight is an embattled man whose baggage from his football playing days followed him to his MMA career.
The very notion that Dana White would even so much as extend an opportunity to an athlete who had his career in one sport derailed by domestic violence charges after being convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend (a conviction subsequently appealed by Hardy and the charges eventually dropped after she did not testify) brought backlash both inside the MMA community and out, with some folks tweeting at White, requesting that he rescind Hardy’s Contender Series invitation during the summer of 2018.
Hardy briefly entertained the possibility of a return to the NFL with the caveat that he would only sign a contract to play for the Dallas Cowboys or Carolina Panthers, the very same clubs that released him.
At the same time, however, it’s hard not to feel sorry for him.
During a post-fight press conference on Halloween, Hardy revealed that some of the people who once knew him have turned on him, saying:
“You know, some people from my past [were] coming to extort me,” Hardy began, “Put me in crazy situations, try to take food out of my family’s mouth — just a lot of outside circumstances going on. I was breaking down in my bathroom before I even started to fight, you know? I was in tears trying to figure out how we were going to function if I could go on, so, it was just a lot of drama, man. People, like I said, trying to take advantage of my situation.”
In that same junction, Hardy continued with:
“A lot of past stuff just coming back. Like I said, [they were] trying to prey on me, man. You guys know me by now. I would have jumped off a building, did some crazy T.O. [Terrell Owens] stuff if I was that guy… I’m not, never will be. I’ve been a good guy, innocent man. Always have been — and when people come back and they try to prey and take advantage of somebody that’s coming back and redeeming and regaining, kind of messes with my head.”
At the end of the day, MMA is a business and any fighters who are underperforming can be cut from their promotion at any moment.
So while Greg Hardy finds himself on the UFC’s active roster as of this writing (July 13, 2021), he may not be on the promotion’s roster much longer. This may very well be Hardy’s last chance.
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