Ex-NFL player Greg Hardy will face his toughest test to date in the UFC when he meets Alexander Volkov in the three-round main event from Moscow on Saturday.
This time, there is no confusion about whether he can use his inhaler.
In October, Hardy had just won a unanimous decision over Ben Sosoli when he was told the victory was being overturned to a no-contest. The decision was handed down by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission after Hardy used his inhaler between the second and third rounds.
While a ringside inspector gave Hardy the OK, and the drug he used wasn’t strictly banned in- or out-of-competition, MSAC prohibits inhalers from entering the cage during the fight.
“In my world, in the USADA world, no [it’s not illegal], so that substance is allowed at all times, in and out of competition, as long as you keep it under a certain level,” UFC vice president of athlete health and performance Jeff Novitzky said when asked about Hardy this past weekend. “I think it’s 800 micrograms per 12 hours. Each puff of an inhaler is 90. Unless you’re puffing a dozen times, you’re going to stay under that.
“The other issue, obviously the commission issue, and I think we all saw on tape that he asked the inspector, who’s part of the commission, could he do this, and the inspector said yes. But my understanding (is) technically, you can’t do that, and the inspector was misinformed. I think because he used that substance, I guess against the rules of the commission is my understanding.”
The same goes for the Nevada Athletic Commission, whose rules are generally followed by the UFC in events where the promotion self-regulates. UFC Moscow is just such a situation, and that means Hardy, who moved past that disappointing decision by booking his next fight in Russia, won’t be allowed to use his inhaler during the fight on Saturday.
“No, he wouldn’t be allowed to use it,” Novitzky said. “It’s not an anti-doping [situation]. It’s a commission rule.
“I think it would be OK and most commissions would be OK you took a puff in the back before you walked out, but I don’t think any commission allows any substances other than bottled water inside [the cage].”
To make one thing clear, Novitzky added that Hardy “wasn’t trying to hide anything” because he had declared his medication to the UFC and the commission ahead of time. So a doping violation wasn’t committed, but Hardy still wasn’t allowed to use it during the fight.
And for his next one, Hardy will have to get by without it.