Greg Hardy’s UFC debut at UFC Brooklyn last weekend wasn’t as smooth-sailing as he wanted it to be. The former NFL defensive end was slapped with a second-round disqualification loss after throwing a knee strike at opponent Allen Crowder, who at the time had one of his knees on the mat.
Hardy was rueful about what happened, baring his sentiments in a rather emotional post-fight interview. But after the seemingly constant backlash he had been getting, the 30-year-old fighter recently admitted that it had been affecting him.
“I was in a bad place, bro. It kind of hurt me,” Hardy told TMZ Sports (transcript via MMA Mania). “You guys cover me for a long time, I hate losing, bro. I’m not a loser, for one. For two, I hate people thinking that I’m a cheater and just the way that it was all formed and shaped.
“It kind of hurt me, man.”
As for the illegal strike, Hardy further argued that it really was a timing issue.
“Looking back and listening to the rule, I didn’t really understand the rule,” he said. “It was a different understanding. And the crazy thing is, in my mind, I wasn’t even gonna risk it, you know?
“I was literally waiting for him to get up. I saw the knee come up, and he grabbed the back of my other leg, so it feels like he’s standing up, man. And I was trying to time it.”
Despite this setback, Hardy (3-1, with 3 wins by knockout) will get to continue his career with the UFC, according to UFC president Dana White.