Greg Hardy will be given another shot to claim Octagon glory tomorrow night (Sat., April 27, 2019) at UFC on ESPN+ 8 live on ESPN+ from inside BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, when he takes on heavyweight veteran Dmitrii Smoliakov.
To much surprise, Hardy is back in the co-main event spot. That is the same billing Hardy was given for his UFC debut this past January, which saw the former NFL star lose via disqualification when he landed an illegal knee on opponent Allen Crowder.
Hardy, who is currently 3-1 in his professional career, understands the opportunity at hand and how significant it truly is to be one of the main attractions on a UFC card.
“It’s like being in the Super Bowl back to back,” Hardy told MMA Junkie earlier this week. “It’s like being in a playoff game over and over again. It gives me confidence. I’ve got the opportunity to come out, show what I’ve got. The powers that be believe in me. It’s a great feeling.”
Despite his loss to Crowder just three months ago, Hardy still commands a promising future in the sport of mixed martial arts (MMA). Having began his amateur career less than two years ago the budding heavyweight still has a lot of work to do. But with the right mindset and proper team around him, Hardy is making the necessary adjustments heading into UFC Ft. Lauderdale.
“We took some time, watched the film, calmed down after an aggressive fight, and just broke the fight down and moved forward,” Hardy said. “It was actually a fun process. … It was more just me being a young fighter. Not heeding all my coaches’ advice with all the adrenaline and this, this and the other. I don’t do nerves. I’ve been a professional athlete too long.”
Hardy, who has some of the best punching power you’ll see at the heavyweight level, believes he’s a bad matchup for anyone in the division. The 30-year-old certainly has some work to do when it comes to gaining the proper in-fight experience needed to ascend the weight class, but the massive prospect thinks the rest of his game will speak for itself.
“I don’t think I match up with anybody,” Hardy said. “I think I might be the biggest person in the UFC. Hopefully, I’m the fastest, one of the most athletic. I think the only difference between me and everybody else is my intelligence in the game and my training experience. I’ve been working every day tirelessly trying to catch up on that, but athletically and physically, there’s no comparison.”
If Hardy is able to take out Smoliakov tomorrow night at UFC Ft. Lauderdale he’ll likely be featured in yet another big spot in 2019. Maybe the former NFL star will even land on the massive UFC 239 pay-per-view (PPV) card this July.
MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Fight Night 150 fight card, starting with the ESPN2 “Prelims” undercard bouts at 5:30 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN “Prelims” at 7 p.m. ET, before the ESPN+ main card start time of 9 p.m. ET.