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Greg Hardy needs a serious step up in competition after UFC San Antonio

Greg Hardy recycled so many cans in 2019 he’s already been nominated for Environmentalist of the Year, so I think we can all agree it’s time for Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to abandon the long con.

Figuratively speaking, of course.

Hardy scored a 45-second knockout win over Juan Adams at UFC on ESPN 4 last night in San Antonio (highlights), after “The Kraken” failed to release “The Prince of War’s” leg in what appeared to be a botched takedown attempt.

Don’t break out the party hats just yet.

I didn’t see anything in Hardy’s performance worth celebrating and that’s now three fights inside the Octagon that are, quite frankly, embarrassing. His UFC debut against Allen Crowder ended by way of disqualification, Dmitry Smoliakov folded up like Russian origami in his sophomore effort, and then Adams fought like he was trying to keep pace with the Benny Hill music.

“Everybody wants to get me on the ground,” Hardy said after the fight. “For one, calling my name comes with consequences. For two, taking me down comes with consequences.”

There are two ways to look at this. Either Hardy is King of the Cans, or simply too good to be fighting journeymen and rough-cut rookies. Both scenarios end with a considerable jump in competition because at this point, we’re just spinning our wheels.

I know there’s a lot of talk about feeding Hardy to someone in the Top 5, like Francis Ngannou, but even if UFC was interested in making that fight, why would “The Predator” risk his spot in line for a high risk, low reward payday?

He wouldn’t.

Heading into UFC San Antonio, Walt Harris (13-7, 1 NC) was ranked No. 14 in the division and like Hardy, made quick work of his opponent (watch it). During his post-fight interview, the 256-pound “Big Ticket” — who also stands at 6’5” — called for a fight in Abu Dhabi against anyone the promotion deemed worthy.

Hardy (5-1) feels like a good fit.

Harris, 35, is an established veteran with a solid resume and above all else, will at least show up and make it a fight. That matters against a guy like Hardy, 30, who finished all five of his wins by first-round knockout with four of them coming in less than a minute.

“The Prince of War” moves quick and hits hard.

I know a lot of fans have a problem with Hardy being in UFC because of his controversial past, but complaining about it on Twitter is not going to compel the promotion to send him packing, so we can either make a genuine effort to protest his participation, or find someone to do the pink-slipping for us.

Yeah ... that’s the “Ticket.”