Hardy (7-4 MMA, 4-4 UFC) finds himself at a crucial crossroads going into the heavyweight bout with Spivac (13-3 MMA, 4-3 UFC), which opens the pay-per-view main card at T-Mobile Arena following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.
He’s been stopped in back-to-back bouts, and is facing a potential third consecutive defeat on what is the final fight of his current UFC contract. Hardy said he thinks there are plenty of people who want him “out of here” and to lose this fight, but he has no intentions of allowing that to happen.
I do feel I need to win,” Hardy told reporters, including MMA Junkie, at Wednesday’s UFC 272 media day. “Let’s put on a show. I’m here for the show, buddy. I’m the greatest entertainer on the planet Earth. I’m, if not the best athlete on planet Earth, I’m sure I’m No. 2. I’m here for my fans. It’s going to be a big one.”
Hardy, who said he’s a hulking 295 pounds as he readies to cut down to 266 for Friday morning’s official weigh-in, is a former NFL standout who was banished from the league after some well-documented legal issues.
His transition into MMA has been filled with ups and downs, and he said important lessons are coming from each fight. His most recent bout, which saw him suffer a 67-second knockout loss to Tai Tuivasa at UFC 264 in July, was particularly eye-opening. Hardy hurt Tuivasa early in the fight only to get over-eager and walk into a counter shot that knocked him out.
Hardy said he still intends to approach his fight with the same ultra-aggressive style, but he now has more awareness.
“I made a little mistake and you live and you learn – don’t get hit in the face, that’s lesson No. 1,” Hardy said. “I learned my lesson, bro. After last fight, nobody is gonna stand in there with me. I can point to the middle all I want. They’re going back to the cage. I’ll just chase ’em. I just got to be smart when I’m chasing them. All my losses are sweet as crap.”
Hardy was originally scheduled to fight at UFC 270 in January, but he suffered a hand injury that prevented him from making the date. He said he’s glad the scratched bout with Spivac was rescheduled and thinks it would be a solid win for him.
“I actually did want to keep this one together,” Hardy said. “I thought he was a really good opponent. I didn’t really get the brawl I wanted out of Tai. I didn’t get to showcase the skills. I always like to come out and showcase some new skills and show the development of Greg Hardy, a prince turning into a king. Unfortunately, it was a couple seconds. So, to get to fight this guy that actually beat him and actually has some wins in the UFC and actually have some solid skills, it was really exciting for me and a good opportunity.”
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Author: Mike Bohn