The Kraken not impressed with Hardy vow to become the Jordan of MMA
Michael Jordan is arguably the greatest basketball player of all time.
As an amateur, disgraced former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy first fought Joe 'The Legend' Hawkins and Kenneth Woods, neither of who fought before or since. Then he fought 3-1 Ryan Chester who never fought again. And that was enough to turn pro on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series and beat a solid Austen Lane, who had gone 5-0 as an amateur and 4-0 as a pro; Lane has gone 1-1 since.
That was enough for the UFC to sign him to a development contract. Next was Tebaris Gordon, who went 5-4 as an amateur before going 3-0 as a pro. Rashem Jones was next; he had gone 3-0 as an amateur, 1-1 as a pro, and lost the fight following Hardy amassing to date a 1-3 record. That was enough to get Hardy into the UFC.
In his league debut, he was DQed in the co-main spot, in a fight he was losing, to Allen Crowder who had gone 7-1 as an amateur, and 9-2 as a pro, but was coming off a loss in his UFC debut. In his latest fight, he beat Dmitrii Smolyakov, who had entered the UFC as a genuine prospect - 1-0 as an amateur and 8-0 as a pro, but went 0-2 in the UFC, was released, bounced back with a win over journeyman Evgeniy Bova.
After the Smolyakov fight, UFC president Dana White offered a reaction shared by many.
"I've been doing this for 20 years, we don't do setup fights for anybody," said White. "And if I was a fan and probably some of the media... I don't know who the f*** that guy beat in nine fights, but I'd like to see the nine guys he beat."
Hardy's MMA record is not a mirage or a joke - he has beaten real fighters. And neither it is sufficient for two co-main spots. However, professional combat sports including MMA are not yet real sports. You don't get into the Super Bowl for being decent and selling the most jerseys, but in the combat sports, money matters, and Hardy has money maker potential.
After beating Smolyakov, Hardy said he would be “the fights sports’ athlete version of what Jordan could be.” That didn't impress Juan 'The Kraken' Adams; the pair fight at UFC on ESPN 4 on 7/20. Adams is also offended by Hardy's history of DV.
Hardy missed most of the 2014 season due to an alleged assault incident involving a former girlfriend and a bed covered with firearms. The woman said he told her all the weapons were loaded, and that he “threatened to shoot me if I went to the media or reported his assaults to anyone.” She estimated between 25 and 30 guns, including “AK-47s, automatic-looking weapons, shotguns, rifles, and pistols.”
Hardy was found guilty by a North Carolina judge, but following procedure in that state asked for a jury trial. The case was dismissed when the alleged victim did not appear. Rumors abounded that Hardy had paid the victim.
Allegations of domestic violence are insufficient to disqualify someone from a career in combat sports. Muhammad Ali's second wife, Belinda Boyd, who changed her name to Khalilah Camacho-Ali, alleges 'The Greatest' committed domestic violence against her. And combat sports, notably boxing, have turned around countless lives. However, just because someone has a right to make a living fighting, doesn't mean fans, or foes, need to like it.
During a recent appearance on The Luke Thomas Show, Adams laid it all out.
"He’s talking the talk or he’s trying to act like he’s changed, but his actions aren’t proving that.” - @chosenjuan285 explains the issues he has with Greg Hardy’s second act #TLTS@lthomasnews pic.twitter.com/0zvxO79tdi— MMA on SiriusXM (@MMAonSiriusXM) May 24, 2019
“There are plenty of components to it,” said Adams as transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting. “The domestic violence thing, yeah that’s a really big issue for me. My two issues on that are one, even if he wasn’t convicted of it - technically he’s innocent - he’s done nothing to make up for it. He’s paid no dues for that. His PR team, whatever, he’s going around talking like he’s a changed man [but] he’s done no work with women’s services, none of that. He hasn’t done anything with charities for victims of domestic violence or domestic abuse, none of that. So he’s talking the talk or trying to act like he’s changed but his actions aren’t proving that. His words say one thing, his actions say another. So that’s one issue.
“The other issue I have with him is, you have to understand, he washed out of one sport because of his off the field issues. He comes into another sport and he doesn’t follow the correct path. Look at his amateur career. He fought a guy that was 44, then he fought a guy that was 42, then he fought a guy that was 37, and then for his pro debut, yeah that guy has a 4-0 or 4-1 record but the guy walked around at 240. So he beats that guy, that guy hasn’t won a fight since then, he then fights a guy that looks like Jabba the Hut, I don’t think that guy has won a fight since then, and his third opponent was another guy that was 6 foot tall and walked around at 240. That’s not a real heavyweight. His opponents have gotten worse until Allen Crowder. Then he fights Allen Crowder and gets disqualified. Then he goes and fights a guy that’s 0-2 in the UFC that they re-signed just so he could beat him. Then he starts talking like he’s Michael Jordan? That’s so dumb.”
“So on top of all those reasons, he’s just stupid on top of all of it. And the stupidity aspect is really what bothered me more than anything. It really blows my mind and it’s almost incomprehensible how someone can be that delusional and that dumb.”