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Morning Report: Greg Hardy responds to criticism of his UFC Fort Lauderdale opponent: My record is 3-1, my man was 9-2.

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UFC Fight Night Jacare v Hermansson Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

On Saturday evening, Greg Hardy secured his first UFC victory, knocking out Dmitry Smoliakov in just 2:15 seconds. But instead of receiving praise for getting his first win in the premiere MMA organization in the world, just two years into his fighting career, Hardy was faced with wide criticism of his opponent, who appeared to have little interest in be in the cage with Hardy. Such was Smoliakov’s performance that even UFC President Dana White commented about it afterwards, questioning what level of opponent the Russian fighter had previously beaten before praising Hardy’s win. But for Hardy, this is just par for the course.

Speaking recently with TMZ Sports, Hardy reminded everyone that he has only been competing for two years in MMA and that Smoliakov already had a pair of fights in the UFC before this one, and suggested that people are looking for any excuse to drag his career down.

“Really, the only people that do want to fight me are the people that haven’t been in there with me yet,” Hardy said. “It’s a dangerous game and those punches aren’t coming light. At the end of the day, my record is like 4-1, 3-1 or whatever. My man was 9-2. These are experienced UFC fighters, I’m two years in. I feel like can, no can, there’s two naked men in there trying to kill each other so it’s exactly what they asked for.

“They got sick of me fighting on the local scene, they wanted to throw me in there with some UFC opponents, that’s what’s happened right now. Now they’re gonna be picky about which UFC opponents. It’s just gonna keep happening until inevitably I’m up there fighting Stipe [Miocic] or Derrick [Lewis] or somebody like that. So keep it coming. I’m gonna keep improving. Keep watching. I know it’s gonna keep being entertaining as hell.”

Hardy certainly does have a number of detractors, though not without cause. Aside from getting fast-tracked to the UFC by virtue of his NFL fame, Hardy is also among the most controversial figures in the sport due to the domestic violence allegations that ultimately pushed him out of the NFL. He didn’t make things any easier on himself in his UFC debut either, losing by DQ when he threw a blatantly illegal knee in a fight many believed he was losing. But that’s why this fight was so important for Hardy. He wanted to prove he is serious about MMA and that he is going to be a legitimate top heavyweight, sooner rather than later.

“I told you I wanted to show everybody I’m serious, everything is legit, that I put in the work and filled in the holes,” Hardy said. “I feel like, after watching the film, I kinda did that. I put on notice that I’m a serious and for sure you need to take me serious in the heavyweight division.”

While the upper echelon of the heavyweight division does not need to be quaking in their boots just yet, Hardy does appear to have the hallmarks of a legitimately talented prospect. He certainly has the confidence of one. Recently he said he said he planned to be fighting with Stipe Miocic and Derrick Lewis before too long. For now though, he still has a long way to go and he’d like to start working his way up that ladder by getting back in there ASAP.

“As soon as possible,” Hardy said. “I’m gonna head back to the drawing board because at the same time as I’m an active fighter, I’m also a student of the game, so I’ve got to get back in there and finish my education.”


MUST-READ STORIES

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Red King. Rory MacDonald confirms Neiman Gracie fight, releases statement: ‘I am not retiring’.

Paid. UFC Fort Lauderdale salaries: Greg Hardy cashes $150,000 for first UFC win.

CTE. Retired Renato Sobral believes he’s showing signs of CTE: ‘I don’t know if I’ll be able to see my grandkids’.

UFC 1. UFC 1 to get documentary treatment from SI Films for late 2019.


VIDEO STEW

More stuff from the BMF Ranch.

The Schmo at Serra BJJ.

Al on TMZ.

TTTHS.

Free fight.

Invicta Phoenix Rising Countdown.


LISTEN UP

Eurobash. Interviews with Petr Yan, Jiri Prochazka, Jack Shore, and Raymond Daniels.

Fights Gone By. Recapping UFC Fort Lauderdale and Jack Hermansson’s upset.


SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE

Reaction.

Beef.

Rory’s statement.

Call out.

Ouch.

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Bad news

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Andrea Lee (10-2) vs. Montana De La Rosa (10-4); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Bryan Barbarena (14-6) vs. Randy Brown (10-3); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Kevin Holland (15-4) vs. Alessio Di Chirico (12-2); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Markus Perez (11-2) vs. Deron Winn (5-0); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Allen Crowder (10-3) vs. Jairzinho Rozenstruik (6-0); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Ashley Yoder (6-4) vs. Syuri Kondo (6-2); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Ariane Lipski (11-4) vs. Molly McCann (8-2); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Andre Ewell (13-5) vs. Anderson dos Santos (20-7); UFC Greenville, June 22.

Demian Maia (26-9) vs. Anthony Rocco Martin (16-4); UFC Minneapolis, June 29.

Maurice Greene (7-2) vs. Junior Albini (14-5); UFC Minneapolis, June 29.

Justin Ledet (9-2, 1 NC) vs. Dalcha Lungiambula (9-1); UFC Minneapolis, June 29.


TODAY IN MMA HISTORY

2000: Mark Coleman won the Pride 2000 Openweight Grand Prix, winning a decision over Akira Shoji in the quarterfinals, getting a free win against Kazuyuki Fujita (whose corner threw in the towel immediately) in the semifinals, and then stopping Igor Vovchanchyn with knees in the finals.


FINAL THOUGHTS

Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.


EXIT POLL

Poll

What do y’all think about Dmitry Smoliakov?

This poll is closed

  • 82%
    He’s a can
    (903 votes)
  • 17%
    Legit fighter
    (194 votes)
1097 votes total Vote Now

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