Former NFL Pro Bowler Greg Hardy made his UFC debut at UFC Fight Night 143 against Allen Crowder.
Hardy made a splash in the world of MMA with his professional debut on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series. Hardy delivered a brutal first-round knockout against Austen Lane and earned a UFC developmental contract. The UFC picked him up came with a lot of criticism for Hardy and the UFC.
In 2015 Hardy faced domestic violence charges and in 2016 was arrested for cocaine possession. Many people were up in arms because they said Hardy was gaining preferential treatment because of his NFL experience. Despite the criticism, Hardy was able to run his professional record to 3-0 with all three of the wins coming by way of knockout. Each of his wins lasted less than one minutes so there was a lot of anticipation to see what he would do in his UFC debut.
Allen Crowder was making his second UFC appearance against Hardy. In his first UFC appearance, Crowder lost to Justin Willis by KO in the first round. He was the underdog coming into his co-main event fight with Hardy.
Hardy came out swinging and had Crowder on his heels early on, but Crowder was able to weather the storm. After Hardy started to slow down about midway through the first round Crowder took him to the ground and was able to control Hardy. Eventually Hardy was able to get back to his feet where he continued to throw big shots trying to end the fight. Crowder at one point jumped for a guillotine, but Hardy was able to remain calm and get out. Despite seemingly being trouble, Crowder took control of the fight on the ground and likely took the first round.
Crowder was trash talking Greg Hardy! LMAOOOOOOOpic.twitter.com/FcJsXGfLyP
— #NobodyDied (@ftbeard_17) January 20, 2019
In the second round, Hardy was a bit more composed, but Crowder seemed to have gained a lot of confidence after that first round. He started taunting Hardy and going after him with big punches. As the pair scrambled Crowder wended up with both his knees touching the canvas. Hardy grabbed his head and threw an illegal knee that knocked him on his back and then Hardy tried to follow up with punches. It seemed Hardy might have been trying to time Crowder getting up, but it didn’t work out.
Referee Dan Miragliotta immediately jumped in to stop Hardy from delivering any punches. The doctors immediately came into the ring to check on Crowder and Miragliotta made it clear that if Crowder could not continue Hardy would be disqualified. Crowder was unable to continue and just like that Hardy had his first professional loss.
It is hard to imagine why Hardy would throw the knee, it was very clear that Crowder was on his knees. Was it his inexperience? We don’t know, but one thing is certain. The critics of Hardy will be out in full force. It seemed like Crowder was okay, but he was escorted out of the ring by the New York commission.
What the UFC does next with Hardy is anyone’s guess now. They clearly wanted Hardy to deliver a KO so they could keep pumping him up. I would assume a disqualification loss is easier to spin that Hardy having lost by KO or submission, so it the Hardy hype train might not be dead yet.
Greg Hardy, who has no business being in a UFC event, is disqualified for a very illegal knee pic.twitter.com/bBnpSh6qG3
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) January 20, 2019
(Featured Image Source: Twitter/Sports Center)