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Last minute ‘extortion’ almost canceled Greg Hardy’s UFC Vegas 12 fight

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While he won his latest UFC fight, Greg Hardy’s troubled past is once again coming back to haunt him.

UFC Fight Night: Greene v Hardy Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC

Controversial former NFL player Greg Hardy was back in action on Saturday night (Oct. 31, 2020) at UFC Vegas 12, earning a technical knockout win over Maurice Greene in the second round. It was a decent enough performance, but questions remain regarding Hardy’s cardio, not helped along by Hardy coming in heavy for the fight and nearly ending up the first Heavyweight in UFC history to miss weight.

Hardy used an extra hour granted by the commission to hit the 266-pound limit, but it’s strange stuff like that that continues to dog his career. There’s also the illegal inhaler incident that cost him his win over Ben Sosoli. The disqualification loss in his first UFC fight. And now we’re learning that Hardy almost pulled out of his fight with Greene hours before it happened because of some mysterious new incident involving his 2014 domestic assault arrest.

Hardy’s manager Malki Kawa was the first to mention it and Hardy gave some vague details during the post-fight press conference.

“Some people from my past coming to extort me, put me in crazy situations, trying to take food out of my family’s mouth and just a lot of outside circumstances,” he said. “I was breaking down in my bathroom before I even started to fight. I was in tears trying to figure out how we gonna function and if I could go on. It was just a lot of drama, people, like I said, trying to take advantage of my situation. A lot of past stuff coming back, just trying to prey on me.”

There was some implication from Hardy that perhaps the people involved in whatever this is timed the confrontation to mess with him on fight night. But it’s worth noting that Hardy is the one who has recently been posting up evidence he feels supports his innocence regarding the 2014 incident, which continues to tarnish his reputation with the public at large.

“You guys know me by now. I would’ve jumped off a building, did some crazy T.O. stuff if I was the guy you always talk about,” Hardy said. “I’m not. Never will be. I’m a good guy, 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. Especially because they’re springing on me literally right in the middle of me going to fight for my life. It kind of messed with me.”

Hardy actually was found guilty of assault by a judge in the 2014 case, but his alleged victim didn’t show up on appeal. The prosecutors at the time said she had settled her civil suit with Hardy and, “did not want to participate in another trial.”

“Everybody wants to be judged in a court of law by a jury of their peers and I didn’t get that,” he continued. “I got executed by Instagram. I’m an innocent man that was never proven guilty, never called guilty, never anything. Not even close. And I was executed in the public. And it took away all the opportunities for me to go chase my dream. The thing I worked two decades for: my yellow jacket in the NFL.”

Also worth noting: Hardy was signed by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 despite the allegations against him. A cocaine arrest, frequent tardiness, as well as “being a bad influence to the younger players on the team” were cited by the Cowboys organization in their decision not to re-sign Hardy after a year.

“My passion, my life, everything I devoted my time for. This, the UFC, which I freakin’ love. That’s why I was in tears, man. They’re trying to take away something - I lived in a dorm for three years, brother. They’re trying to take it away from me, just because of a, because ‘Greg’s weak, he’s not financially what he was so we can attack him. Nobody’s gonna be on his side so we can attack him, we can take him, let’s hit him up for 800.’ That’s the nature of people these days and I want the world to see that and ... help.”

Obviously, it’s very unclear what’s going on with Hardy right now, but it sounds like those 2014 allegations are starting to re-surface. Whether that’s because those behind it are attempting to extort Hardy as he claims, or because Hardy is posting about the case on Instagram claiming innocence, who knows. We’re sure we haven’t heard the last of any of this.