Hardy, a former NFL Pro Bowler, is looking to erase the memory of his disastrous debut against Allen Crowder at UFC Brooklyn in January. During the scrap, fans saw Hardy connect with an illegal knee to a downed Crowder, giving him the disqualification loss.
For Smoliakov, this marks his return to the UFC after winning his most recent bout at a show in Russia in January.
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Keith Peterson is the third man in the Octagon for this one. Smoliakov circling to the outside as Hardy stalks him from the center. Smoliakov shoots in but is immediately shoved away. Smoliakov clips Hardy with an overhand right but eats a hard uppercut on the separating.
Hardy powers forward with a headkick and immediately pushes Smoliakov into the fence. Eating another blow, Smoliakov collapses to the canvas as Hardy rains down punches onto his skull, forcing the referee to stop the fight.
OFFICIAL SCORECARD: Greg Hardy def. Dmitrii Smoliakov via TKO (strikes) at 2:15 of Round 1