After a strong start in his first three professional fights, Greg Hardy’s UFC debut did not end how he intended it to. The former NFL standout was slapped with a disqualification loss after throwing an illegal knee strike to opponent Allen Crowder, who at the time had his right knee down on the mat.
In a post-fight interview with ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Hardy maintained that his foul was not intentionally committed.
“I was aware of the rule as it stands, I was not aware that that was what was going on,” he said. “I got deep into the fight, I was in the moment. I was trying to time it and I mistimed it. And for that to end my day, man, it’s a hard pill to swallow.
“It’s a hard way to go down, especially when I wanted to portray a lot of appreciation and show everybody that I’m here to do it the right way. This is not how I wanted to do things, and I just hope everybody understands that this is not who I am, that is not something I would do purposely.”
The 30-year-old Hardy says what stings more for him was letting his team down, and as early as now, he already recognizes the changes he needs to make.
“I gotta get it together. This is a learning curve that I’ve got to catch up with real quick. It’s two years in the making, thrown into the big show. I’m 100% ready,” Hardy said.
“It’s the learning Jones, man. Something that I’ve got to pick up on and adjust to quickly.”
Despite the outcome, UFC president Dana White was left impressed with Hardy’s performance, while also stating that the former Dallas Cowboys defensive end will get to carry on with his career in the UFC.