It was January 2019 when controversial NFL tight end Greg Hardy made his UFC debut. “The Prince of War” entered the organization via two first-round KO and TKO wins at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Almost three years to the date, the 33-year-old Hardy is now down to the last fight of his UFC contract. And despite a short and controversy-filled run as a pro fighter, he looks back on his career with a sense of pride.
“My cards do big numbers, I’m always on big cards, I’m always entertaining the crap out of the crowds,” Hardy told BJPENN.com. “This is my last contract fight and they are putting me in there with Aleksei. We aren’t picking and choosing, we are fighting fighters and are making our way up.”
“I’ve been fighting for my job since I got in this. Nothing is guaranteed in the UFC, nothing is guaranteed in the NFL, so it’s my lane. I’m very comfortable in this lane. The last two fights I was fighting for a contract, I promise you.”
Hardy is set to take on seasoned veteran Aleksei Oleinik in the main card of UFC 270 on January 22. And if the UFC does choose not to re-sign him, he says he will be completely content with what he’d accomplished.
“It’s a business,” Hardy said. “The cool thing about me is I’ve been on the business side for so long. A lot of these guys have been fighting their whole life and haven’t done any business.
“They struggle with the thought of it, the mental of the business side. For me, if I win and he doesn’t sign me again, it’s a thank you because this has been a hell of a show. My fans have loved it, you have loved it, I have had a great time and we are moving on.
“I don’t think I’ll lose. But, if I do and he doesn’t decide to bring me back, it’s the same thing, it’s a pleasure. He didn’t have to let me in, he didn’t have to let me shine and he did and we had a hell of a time.
“I think I’ve been on every Conor card, every big card. It’s been a hell of a ride,” he said. “Just like when I left the (Dallas) Cowboys, I hope I did more than you guys gave me. I think I did and I think I’m going to keep doing it.”
Hardy holds a record of 7-4, with one No Contest verdict. He took a lot of flak from fans for his illegal knee DQ loss to Allen Crowder in his debut and for his inhaler use during the round break of his 2019 fight against Ben Sosoli, which was subsequently overturned to a No Contest.
Hardy is currently on a two-fight skid. He last fought at UFC 264 against Tai Tuivasa and was knocked out in the first round.