It’s been one year since Greg Hardy made his UFC debut. The former defensive end entered the Octagon with the specter of an ugly assault case hanging over him, as well as drugs charges and alleged attitude issues that eventually saw him drummed out of the NFL.
Dana has already said his peace on Hardy’s concerning past. In his opinion, Hardy has “paid his dues” and “lost everything.” However, following a string of mediocre performances and yet another loss in the Octagon, some may have expected White to see Hardy’s limitations as a fighter as a chance to cut bait on one of the UFC’s more surprisingly expensive athletes. That doesn’t appear to be the case, though.
The UFC president recently sat down with Matt Parrino and Ryan Talbot for their SHOUT Buffalo Football Podcast to talk about Hardy, and his place on the UFC roster.
“He looked damn good. He lost that last fight, but he looked damn good right up until he lost,” White said of Hardy’s performances (transcript via Middle Easy). “He’s done very well here. I didn’t expect him to possibly stick around this long, especially in this heavyweight division. There’s some nasty guys, but he’s done very well.”
Hardy is a respectable-ish 4-3-1 NC in the UFC, having debuted back in 2019. And while his presence in the world’s largest mixed martial arts organization still has an ugly look to it, White is half-right. Hardy showed some unexpected counter-punching prowess against Marcin Tybura at UFC Vegas 17.
But bailing out, losing gas, and folding like a lawnchair at the first sign of counterpressure was a little less impressive—and may not be the kind of flaw you can clean up with more drills and experience. Especially against better competition.
It’s hard to envision Hardy having a long term future as an elite heavyweight, but for now, it looks like Dana is sticking to his guns, and wants to see if Hardy has more to give.