Greg Hardy earned another first round finish in his third professional fight, but what the victory at XFN 352 does for him remains to be seen.
“Complete and total domination” growled Greg Hardy in a promo for Saturday’s XFN 352. Hardy, the former NFL star sent packing from the football world after a domestic violence incident, headlined the event, which aired exclusively on UFC Fight Pass. On Saturday, he faced Ray ‘Megatron’ Jones, a 1-1 heavyweight and former Rage in the Cage amateur champion.
Hardy had won all three of his amateur bouts, and both of his professional MMA fights as well. Both of those had come on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, which had earned him a developmental deal with the promotion. Hence the headlining gig at XFN 352, carried on the promotion’s streaming service.
Complete and total domination it was. A curious choice in opponents, as Jones had less experience than either of Hardy’s two previous foes. Hardy continued to look a green on the feet, out of position at times. Yet he hit hard, and when Jones tried and failed at a takedown, Hardy out-muscled him, and began smashing the side of Jones’ head with hammer fists (the last, unfortunately, hit the back of the neck). In short order, Jones went out, and Hardy had his third win.
What the victory over a lesser opponent does for Hardy at this point is unclear. He likely needs a step up, not another easy out. Hardy’s controversial background has as many people rooting for him to fail as are rooting for him to succeed. And if he is to succeed, he’ll need a real test next.
Greg Hardy def. Roy Jones by knockout, Round 1, 0:53