When Greg Hardy broke out an inhaler after the second round of his fight with Ben Sosoli, there was mass confusion on the UFC on ESPN 6 broadcast. That sentiment only seemed to grow stronger when it was later announced that Hardy’s win over Sosoli would be overturned to a no-contest.
UFC president Dana White is as befuddled as anyone.
Shortly after the conclusion of Friday’s card in Boston, the promotion announced that Hardy’s use of an inhaler mid-bout was illegal unless pre-approved by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.
Unsurprisingly, White was asked about the situation at the evening’s post-fight presser, and he recalls there being an immediate uproar as the events unfolded.
“It was crazy,” White said. “Everybody started screaming at me, ‘He used an inhaler, he used an inhaler!’ I couldn’t even grasp what they were (saying) —‘What do you mean, he used an inhaler?’ So when the fight was over I went over to (Hardy coach and cornerman) Din Thomas and said, ‘What the f*ck are you doing? How are you using an inhaler?’
And he said, ‘The commissioner said we could.’
“What commissioner? When? How? So then my team started to jump into it to try to figure out what happened, what was going on.”
In the clip (courtesy of ESPN), Hardy can be seen asking for permission to use his inhaler in between the second and third rounds of his fight. After a brief discussion, Hardy took a puff from the inhaler, then walked out for the final five minutes of the fight, eventually earning a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards.
“I think if you watch it, you can understand how it happened, but [Hardy] asked the guy and the guy says, ‘Is it medically approved?’ [and Hardy] says, ‘It’s USADA approved,’ because he put it down on his sheet that he was using an inhaler and they knew he used an inhaler,” White said. “It’s crazy.”
White went on to reiterate that as far as he knows, no fighter is allowed to ingest anything between rounds except for water. He was critical of several of the parties involved, including Hardy, his team, and the MSAC.
“I have no clue what anybody who was involved in that situation was thinking,” White said. “Let me start here with and I don’t want to sound like I’m being negative on the commission, but these guys don’t have a lot of big fight experience when we come into places that aren’t Vegas. You see it with different referees and judging and things like that, they don’t have the fight experience. I don’t know what anybody was thinking.
“From Din Thomas, the rest of the cornermen, Greg Hardy, the commissioner that was in the Octagon with them. You can drink water. It’s pretty simple. So I don’t know. For me to speak on what anybody was thinking, we have it on video, we have it all on video and audio, the whole conversation.”