Greg Hardy suffered his first career knockout loss to Marcin Tybura at UFC Vegas 17 this past December (highlights HERE), but the future remains bright for the heavyweight contender heading into 2021.
This is according to UFC president Dana White, who recently spoke to “SHOUT!” Buffalo Podcast about Hardy and his UFC tenure.
The former NFL star made his Octagon debut just two years ago after smashing unknown fighters under the Contender Series banner. Hardy has managed to produce a 4-3 (1 NC) record over the past 24 months and has looked good enough against top level competition like Alexander Volkov and Tybura. He’s evolved quite well for just picking up the sport a few years ago and has already impressed the UFC president.
“He looked damn good. He lost that last fight, but he looked damn good in it right up until he lost,” said White of Hardy’s recent fight with Tybura (transcript via Middle Easy). “He’s done very well here. I didn’t expect him to possibly stick around this long, especially in this heavyweight division. There’s some nasty guys, but he’s done very well. It’s funny because the football guys seem to be the guys that like to cross over into MMA.”
Hardy, who is just 32, looked to be piecing everything together early into his heavyweight bout with Tybura. “Prince of War” finally seemed ready to take the next step in his fighting career but ended up gassing out and giving in to some Polish ground-and-pound. It is the first time Hardy has ever been finished inside of the cage, whether via strikes or submission.
Despite his loss to Tybura, Hardy remains one of the more intriguing names in the UFC heavyweight division heading into the new year. He’s done fairly well inside of the Octagon and has surrounded himself with educated minds like Rashad Evans and Din Thomas. As long as he stays the course Hardy should take another step forward in 2021.
However, Hardy’s boxing takeover will have to wait after his most recent UFC performance.