Greg Hardy’s year could not have bene more calamitous. Every single time he stepped into the octagon, the fights were secondary to either the quality of opponent or the rules of fighting itself. Hardy got tested by Alan Crowder until being disqualified for landing an illegal knee.
Dimitry Smolyakov and Juan Adams put in performances that did not prove fruitful.
Then we had Inhalergate, the upside of which got us a classic Dana White response.
Hardy tried to change his career trajectory by filling in last minute against Alexander Volkov, and ended up painfully and tediously outclassed. It was a fitting end to the fighter who’d been given too many platforms, hand picked opponents, and second chances.
In a more fair world, Jack “The Joker” Hermansson would be one of the feel good stories of 2019. He railroaded David Branch, choking out the BJJ expert in under a minute. He capitalized this success into a last minute replacement for an injured Yoel Romero versus Jacare Souza.
His five rounds against Jacare were a breakthrough performance and the MMA world seemed poised to embrace the ebullient Swede.
The middleweight division is not a forgiving place for anyone on a win streak. The surging Hermansson then met Jared “The Killa Gorilla” Cannonier, and was brutally dispatched.
The dead jester and gorilla drawing is another personal favorite, where I got to simply come up with a fun descriptive image for the weekend’s fight and not have to cynically assess the UFC’s marketing choices.
Take care of yourself and I’ll talk to you tomorrow.
(PS, it’s my birthday and I’m hopefully celebrating as you read this)