SUNRISE, Fla. — Greg Hardy is finally in the win column under the UFC banner. The former NFL defensive end made quick and easy work of Dimitri Smoliakov, scoring a first-round knockout win over his former training partner.
Hardy was hardly challenged in this bout, stuffing three takedown attempts that seemed half-hearted at best. He then rocked Smoliakov, and as he hit the mat, Hardy went in for ground-and-pound before the referee called a stop to the fight. Hardy (4-1) was happy to get past his debut loss.
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“It felt amazing to be back after the situation in my first fight. I got to redeem myself, fight my heart out in front of my home crowd. I loved it. I kept my calm, I did the exact opposite of what I did the first time, kept it collected, just looked for all the openings in his game. I felt like I could see it all, and what I couldn’t see, I could get out of range fast enough and it all just came together. Now I want more. That’s it. Whoever the boss says I’m going to fight, I’m going to fight. Let’s do it!”
Hardy came close to stopping the fight in the opening moments with a pair of wild uppercuts that Somliakov was lucky to avoid. It’s unclear what will be next for Hardy, but getting past the disqualification in his debut was a major hurdle that needed to be climbed and now he can move on from it.