So far on the second season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, we’ve seen events headlined by controversial fighters Greg Hardy and Nick Newell. Hardy, you may remember, was drummed out of the NFL over domestic abuse charges and has since begun a promising career in MMA, even earning a developmental contract with the UFC in his first professional fight. Meanwhile, Newell is an established veteran and former World Series of Fighting title challenger who happens to have been born with a congenital amputation of his left arm. Despite his wealth of experience, Newell had to fight on the Contender Series for a chance to earn a contract, coming up short against Alex Munoz and prompting White to suggest that he would be moving on from Newell. This juxtaposition does not sit well with some people, including noted Dana White critic, Brendan Schaub.
Schaub - who has feuded with White over the years for a number of reasons, most notably his treatment of fighters - recently took to his Below the Belt podcast and went off on White for choosing to promote an alleged domestic abuser instead of a guy like Nick Newell.
“I just don’t understand. I don’t understand why he’s in that bulls**t Contender Series,” Schaub said. “They’re just doing it for reviews. They’re riding and dying on Greg Hardy which is hilarious. It just shows you the nature of the business and what you’re dealing with with Dana White being a promoter.
“I would bet my life on it that Nick Newell sells more tickets than Greg Hardy, especially as an established fighter who’s a congenital amputee. His story is so much better. Not to mention, you’re worried about Nick Newell. Nick Newell has, I don’t know, 20 times the amount of experience than the rest of these guys in the Contender Series. He fought at a high level, the World Series of Fighting. We can hate on the World Series of Fighting, however, Marlon Moraes, Justin Gaethje, David Branch, Anthony Johnson, Andre Arlovski - I can go through the list of high-level fighters who have competed in World Series of Fighting. To not give him an instant UFC contract is just wrong, man. It’s wrong.
“And to highlight a guy like Greg Hardy. Greg Hardy - not the person, as a person that guy, I wouldn’t piss on him if he was on fire for what he’s done to women, allegedly - however, him as a fighter, he’s an older heavyweight, has an NFL background, we’ve seen how this story works out. Trust me, we’ve seen how this story works out. He’s gonna be knocking out these lower level guys. He’s not UFC caliber. He would get beat by everyone on the current roster in the UFC. Everybody right now. But you’re gonna invest time and marketing dollars into that guy and not Nick Newell, who has fought for a world title? There’s only about four or five major leagues in mixed martial arts. World Series of Fighting is one of them. It’s produced some legit f**king champions. Marlon Moraes is a real f**king threat to T.J. Dillashaw. Lance Palmer, who is over there right now, could probably beat 98 percent of the UFC if he came over. So it’s like, to shun a guy like Nick Newell is just silly.”
Hardy will remain a controversial figure in MMA for as long as he remains in the sport. In 2014, he was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and threatening her life. On appeal, the charges were dropped when the victim failed to appear in court. But even though Hardy was legally innocent, many fans, including Schaub, aren’t willing to forget about it and don’t want to see him in the UFC, especially while Dana White is refusing to sign a more accomplished fighter for seemingly no reason other than personal bias.
“You would see the good guy have a shot,” Schaub continued. “None of us are rooting for Greg Hardy. It’s a train wreck. We’re all watching in hope that he loses. It’s just not the way to do things. Take a vote online: who would you rather see get a UFC contract? Who would you rather see the marketing dollars put into, the good guy who’s an actual, legit martial artist who was born without a f**king arm and can still beat world-class fighters and has done it for several years, would you rather see him live his dream, or a guy who was an All-Pro in the NFL, was kicked out for horrible behavior, the pictures of what he did to his girlfriend at the time were so horrific you don’t even want to talk about it, intimidated the witnesses so we have no idea what really happened, was a complete f**k up in the NFL and now is over in the UFC Contender Series knocking out no-namers and we’re highlighting that. Huh?! How can you even vibe with that? How can you even support that? Just as a human being, as a normal person.
“Greg Hardy is the easy one. ‘Hey, just toss him these guys and let him knock them out. It’s a redemption story.’ You know what’s a f**king redemption story? Nick Newell with one f**king arm! Why do you think we know about guys like Jim Abbott, the pitcher? There’s more people who can root for and relate to Nick Newell than they can Greg Hardy, who had everything and f**ked it up and beat women. Most of us can’t vibe with that, most of us can’t support that. ‘Well, I believe in second chances.’ F**k your second chance. Nick Newell’s entire life has been a struggle and he’s made it. He’s never hit a woman. He doesn’t have a criminal record. Yet we watch this! Yet the UFC works with this! What the f**k are you doing?! And for what? For your Contender Series to get views?! I won’t partake in it. I do not watch it for this exact reason.”
Like it or not, this does appear to be the reality of the situation. Hardy has knocked out both of his professional opponents in a combined 74 seconds and appears to be well on the way to a successful second career. He recently said that MMA was his full-time focus and White has shown no intention of backing down from supporting him. And at the end of the day, that’s the problem, says Schaub. The decision to throw in with Greg Hardy comes down to one person, and one person only.
“There’s only one person making these calls: Dana White,” Schaub concluded. “Same guy that s**ts on fighters. The same guy who talks shit about Francis Ngannou but then highlights Greg Hardy. What the f**k are we doing?!”
Bellator. Scott Coker: Bellator ‘would love to talk’ to Eddie Alvarez if able.
125. Duane Ludwig would still like T.J. Dillashaw to go for UFC flyweight title next.
265. Derrick Lewis gives update on UFC 229 fight against Alexander Volkov, back issues.
Let go. Gleison Tibau parts ways with the UFC after 28 Octagon appearances.
Cold. Tom Lawlor says he was released by UFC just before expiration of USADA suspension.
Jeez they’re really gonna do this stupid s**t, aren’t they?
Tony has been cleared to fight.
LFA highlights from last Friday.
Couple of Conor vs. Khabib promos.
The MMA Hour. Interviews with Usman, Lewis, Coker, and Ruth.
The Co-Main Event. A live episode answering fan questions.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
@JamesVickMMA will never think of himself the same when I am done with him August 25th in Lincoln, NE. I will put him to sleep and he will wake up a humbled turd #UFCFightnight #UFCLincoln— Justin Gaethje (@Justin_Gaethje) August 14, 2018
A comically bad response.
yea and when i'm done with you you'll still be a punch drunk meat head on a 3 fight losing streak. But hey at least you'll still have money in your bank account #homersimpsonofmma— James Vick (@JamesVickMMA) August 14, 2018
This might be easier to read pic.twitter.com/F4qvOtJv0w— Johny Hendricks (@JohnyHendricks) August 14, 2018
Slater would eff them both up.
Thanks for having me on your show @MarioLopezExtra @extratv #ufc pic.twitter.com/Wgr3Ce8jjH— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) August 13, 2018
Apparently TJ is trying to fight everyone other than the line of legit contenders at bantamweight.
Someone got scared and is now backtracking. ♂️ Did you get scolded by your daddy? “I told you to keep your mouth shut, now TJ is going to knock you the fuck out boy. When will you ever learn?” pic.twitter.com/haWeGnzhVZ— TJ Dillashaw (@TJDillashaw) August 13, 2018
I’m not confident that this is a good thing.
Hey @RockstarGames, we've found your next GTA character! @PlatinumPerry pic.twitter.com/WElza27jax— UFC Europe (@UFCEurope) August 13, 2018
Cyborg got fans everywhere.
.@criscyborg is out at #ChargersCamp today and Mike and @RussellOkung are big, big fans. pic.twitter.com/Ub8Bx9xYA6— Los Angeles Chargers (@Chargers) August 13, 2018
Mess with me and you gotta deal with my girl @criscyborg ❤️ pic.twitter.com/FHzWvr18tM— Ashley Brewer (@abc7ashley) August 14, 2018
A.J. McKee (11-0) vs. John Teixeira (21-3-2); Bellator 205, Sep. 21.
Sean O’Malley (10-0) vs. Jose Quinonez (7-2); UFC 229, Oct. 6.
Ben Nguyen (16-7) vs. Wilson Reis (22-9); UFC Adelaide, Dec. 1.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2011: Chris Lytle competed for the last time in MMA, submitting Dan Hardy at UFC on Versus 5.
I’ve given Brendan Schaub more crap than most - and I stand by everything I’ve said - but he is spot on with this. Credit where credit is due.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Do you care about Greg Hardy’s past?
This poll is closed
Yes, I wish the UFC weren’t supporting him.
No, I believe he deserves another chance.
I don’t care in general
If you find something you’d like to see in the Morning Report, hit up @JedKMeshew on Twitter and let him know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram, and like us on Facebook.