Saturday, October 19, 2019

Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy was his decision win over Ben Sosoli on the main card of UFC on ESPN 6 changed almost immediately to a No Contest. Hardy and his coach, ATT's Din Thomas, explained that they had been given an OK over use of the inhaler by an inspector, but the official was not authorized to make the decision - inhaler use in Massachusetts has to be pre-approved by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission.

“Super sad,” said Hardy post-fight to Mike Bohn for MMA Junkie. “It’s a Ventolin Albuterol inhaler for exercise-induced asthma. I used it my whole life. I sign the commission paperwork when I weighed in. It’s on the USADA paperwork when I take every single drug test so that y’all know that I’m not taking steroids. I’m just naturally a monster.”

“You have complete control of your diaphragm and your lungs (when using the inhaler),” Hardy said. “They can expand and contract normally. Mine do not. They inflame. It restricts the breathing and airflow. I’m sure a lot of people out here have kids with asthma. You can’t leave them alone, or they’ll die. So it literally just clears the airway so I am able to breathe. It’s not so I can breath better. It helps me breathe just like you, which evens the playing field.”

UFC president Dana White watched footage from backstage pre-fight and explained what happened to Megan Olivi.

“I think if you watch it you can understand how it happened,” said White. “But he asked the guy, and the guy said, ‘Is it medically approved?’ And he said, ‘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. So it’s crazy. I don’t even know what to say.

"First of all: Din Thomas … come on, Din. You’ve been in this game forever. His corner, they’ve got to know you can’t use an inhaler in the corner. They should know that. Shouldn’t even be a question. You can drink water. It’s pretty simple. Gatorade in some states.”

Hardy sounded resigned after the loss of his win.

“The worst part is, here I am letting people down again. It’s a sucky feeling, he said. "We had a conversation before the fight, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing. I asked permission, they told me I could, and I’m in trouble again. My mind’s on just make sure everyone is happy, making sure everything is cool because it’s a crappy feeling. Everything is about my inhaler instead of me watching a sweet Weidman knockout from my boy. Same as any other situation: I’m worried about my team.

“I just fought more time than I’ve ever fought in my whole entire career, and we’re sitting here talking about an inhaler that I’ve used my whole entire life. That’s a crappy feeling, dude. I never want to take away from the UFC brand. I never want to take away from anybody, and I feel like that’s what’s happening, and I’m not OK with that.”