When you take a controversial fighter, and make a controversial decision to place him on a fight card, there’s a pretty good chance the fight itself will end in controversy.
And that’s exactly what happened when Greg Hardy made his official UFC debut in the co-feature bout of UFC Brooklyn on Saturday night.
Hardy, the former NFL All-Pro whose career was derailed by a domestic violence conviction and drug arrest, fought Allen Crowder at the Barclays Center.
After an atrocious round-and-a-half of fighting nowhere near major-league level, Hardy landed a blatantly illegal knee, leading to a disqualification victory for Crowder at the 2:28 mark of the second round.
Hardy brought a 3-0 record into the fight. All three of his pro bouts, as well as all three of his amateur fights, finished in first-round knockouts in under two minutes.
But when Hardy couldn’t put Crowder -- who seemed hand-picked for Hardy as all three of his career losses were all via knockout -- down fast, he didn’t have much of a Plan B. The bout turned into a slow paced grappling match.
Crowder had the audience on his side and was beginning to find a second wind when Hardy responded with the blatantly illegal knee to the head of the downed Crowder. Referee Dan Miragliotta gave the North Carolinian a DQ nod when he couldn’t continue.
The UFC was heavily criticized for placing Hardy on the card, an event which also featured Hawaiian Rachael Ostovich, who suffered head injuries in a domestic violence incident last year. Ostovich lost to Paige VanZant earlier in the evening.
Crowder improved to 10-3 (1 NC) and has now won five of his past six fights.