In a sport that values entertainment, UFC San Antonio heavyweight Greg Hardy feels he’s got the best of both worlds, where it’s “WWE, but real life”
San Antonio, TX — “The smiles and fun is going to stop for a couple hours,” Greg Hardy said Thursday at the UFC San Antonio media day. That’s as Hardy sheds pounds for his weight cut, roughly fifteen of them. “The only thing I’m focused on is the weight cut. There’s no emotion in the weight cut.”
Hardy was speaking to reporters ahead of his third UFC bout, on his biggest platform yet, as the San Antonio card is officially UFC on ESPN 4. It’s also a card at which Hardy is taking on his biggest rival to date, Juan Adams. A fellow Contender Series veteran, the dislike Adams has for Hardy is palpable.
At least initially Thursday, however, Hardy was mostly focused on his weight cut. One that he calls “purely methodical. But not in the sense of what’s better for me in the long run or the short run.”
Rather, said Hardy, “it’s a thing for me these days to be fighting every two to three months. It’s just hard to control weight in that amount of time while having to keep up with that energy to practice, and learn, two to three practices a day. It’s just however it falls, then we do the weight cut however we can do the cut.”
Having kept up a busy pace since debuting as a pro last year, “it’s kind of like sacrificing weight for the frequent fights. But I’m sure the fans love it, you guys love it, so I’m willing to make the sacrifice.”
In terms of appearance, Hardy looked considerably more haggard than he had earlier in the week. No surprise, since by fight night, he’ll be “about 278lbs. I try to come in pretty hefty, over 265. It’s pretty easy to put it back on.” No doubt, with the team he has around him.
One subject seemed to perk Hardy up Thursday, however. Surprisingly, it was the media. For the first time in his career ahead of UFC San Antonio, the focus has been on something other than his past. Rather, it’s about match-up with Adams, and Adam’s own dislike of the ex-NFL star. “This is the best relationship I’ve had with the media so far, because you guys have done all the talking,” said Hardy, adding that he appreciates the press. “It’s been cool for me, I’ve been having a great time. I got a free trip back to Texas, I get to put over my city, I’m a couple hours, 24, however long, away from being locked in the cage with somebody who supposedly hates me. Sounds great for me.”
Expanding on the topic for Cageside Press, Hardy would later compare the MMA media to the traditional sports media he was used to in the NFL. “You’re a dope breed, bro. It’s great for me man. You guys love entertainment, I love to entertain, and unlike my previous employers, you don’t get in trouble for entertaining the people that want to be entertained.”
“This is WWE, but real life,” Hardy exclaimed, a comment that will surely go unnoticed by hardcore MMA fans. “So I get the best of both worlds, and you guys are incredible at doing your job. So far, because you know I’ll come at your head when you switch up. But so far you guys have been amazing, you deserve all the credit.”
The media, said Hardy, “make it easy to do my job on Saturday. The fans show up an they’re already pre-hyped, pre-lit, and ready for violence. I love it.”
As for what Hardy wants moving forward, after a fight with Adams that is the biggest of his short career so far, Hardy said that “I want complete and total domination. I want people to focus on Greg Hardy. And understand that Greg Hardy’s here to take over everything. It’s not a game, it’s not a play, it’s not a half-measure or half-step. There is no what’s next. It’s all next, and it’s all mine.” Sounds like a WWE promo, doesn’t it?
For more from Greg Hardy, watch the full media day press scrum ahead of UFC San Antonio above!