It was so close yet so far for Greg Hardy at UFC Vegas 17.
The controversial former NFL player was having a pretty solid 2020 coming into the last event of the year, going 2-0 and even scoring a finish against Maurice Green in October. But after a strong first round that featured Hardy looking the best we’ve seen in the cage, the wheels fell off abruptly in the second round when Marcin Tybura took him to the canvas (watch highlights here).
Leading up to this fight, Hardy was talking not just about being a UFC champion, but switching over into boxing to take on Tyson Fury and Anthony Joshua as well. We think he better sort out his ground game in mixed martial arts (MMA) first if he wants to get past the first step. That cardio issue (made worse by Hardy’s asthma) is also something he’ll have to fix if he wants to start getting past tough unranked opponents like Tybura.
Following the loss, Hardy admitted he had some work to do.
“Gotta take my Ls like a man,” he wrote. “Always have and always will. I have become a much better fighter but I am far from complete #tentoesdown this loss is deff on me, my coach’s and team are the best in the world. It’s on me to make adjustments.”
Fortunately for Hardy, UFC has taken a distinctly soft touch in trying to develop him as a Heavyweight prospect. Even Tybura was what we’d consider a softball for a guy who is now eight fights into his UFC career.
Clearly, the promotion thinks (and is probably correct in this thinking) that the ESPN football crowd continues to be interested in seeing Hardy fight ... for better or worse. And for us haters, at least there is a bit of schadenfreude to be had watching this unrepentant domestic abuser struggle to hang in UFC’s Heavyweight division.