Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has the world’s largest mixed martial arts (MMA) promotion and several hundred fighters under his employ. He can pretty much pick and choose who comes and who goes.
So why the fascination with Greg Hardy?
It would seem that UFC can have its pick of the litter and Hardy, 30, brings a lot of extra baggage to the cage, including but not limited to his history of domestic violence. To gamble on that sort of prospect hardly seems worth it, but White is a fan so everything else goes out the window.
And that has former heavyweight contender Brendan Schaub scratching his head.
“I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why he’s in that bullshit Contender Series,” Schaub said (via MMA Fighting). “They’re just doing it for reviews. They’re riding and dying on Greg Hardy which is hilarious. It just shows you the nature of the business and what you’re dealing with, with Dana White being a promoter.“
Schaub argues that UFC and White would be better off putting marketing dollars into an established veteran like Nick Newell, who also offers a redemption story based on his physical handicap and comes without all the negative press that follows Hardy.
“I would bet my life on it that Nick Newell sells more tickets than Greg Hardy, especially as an established fighter who’s a congenital amputee,” Schaub said. “His story is so much better. Not to mention, you’re worried about Nick Newell. Nick Newell has, I don’t know, 20 times the amount of experience than the rest of these guys in the Contender Series. He fought at a high level, the World Series of Fighting. We can hate on the World Series of Fighting, however, Marlon Moraes, Justin Gaethje, David Branch, Anthony Johnson, Andre Arlovski — I can go through the list of high-level fighters who have competed in World Series of Fighting. To not give him an instant UFC contract is just wrong, man. It’s wrong.”
Newell got his shot on Contender Series but came up short against Alex Munoz; however, Schaub argues that Newell was paired off against a formidable prospect training at Team Alpha Male while Hardy is being fed lumbering tomato cans hand picked from the regional circuit.
“Trust me, we’ve seen how this story works out,” Scahub said. “He’s gonna be knocking out these lower level guys. He’s not UFC caliber. He would get beat by everyone on the current roster in the UFC. Everybody right now. But you’re gonna invest time and marketing dollars into that guy and not Nick Newell, who has fought for a world title?”
Hardy (2-0) won both his Contender Series fights by way of first-round knockout.