Headliners Ben Askren and Demian Maia were in Singapore Wednesday for the UFC Singapore opening press conference, while Greg Hardy was announced for the card.
Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy will return to the octagon in October. At a press conference in Singapore on Wednesday, UFC officials announced two new fights for their upcoming UFC Singapore card. In one, Hardy (5-1) will take on Jarjis Danho (5-1-1), a fellow heavyweight who has been out of action since 2016. In the other, lightweight Beneil Dariush (16-4-1) will face Frank Camacho (21-7).
On hand for the press conference were main event welterweights Ben Askren and Demian Maia, who posed for a face-off. Askren is no stranger to Singapore, having competed in the country several times under the ONE Championship banner.
“When you look at his resume, he’s only lost to the best of the best,” Askren was quoted as saying about Maia Wednesday in a press release distributed to media outlets. “It’s a great challenge, I also appreciate his grappling skills. That’ a test I want, one I’m absolutely looking for. At no point in my career, have I said ‘Oh my gosh, this guy’s good at jiu jitsu’. I could recklessly go for takedowns because I wasn’t worried about submissions. It’s going to be a lot of fun figuring out this puzzle, putting the pieces together.”
Maia added that “It’s a challenge that I’ve never faced. In all the fights, my opponents want to strike, avoid the takedowns, avoid grappling. So this will be interesting, and very curious about how we’ll train for it in camp. I carry the flag for Brazilian jiu jitsu, and he carries the flag for American wrestling.”
The wrestling vs. BJJ angle will turn many heads and should be a hot topic among grappling fans. UFC fans in general, however, may roll their eyes at Hardy being paired up with a fighter who has not competed for several years. Danho is 0-1-1 under the UFC banner, most recently fighting to a draw with Christian Colombo at UFC Fight Night 93 in 2016. A 2017 bout with Dmitry Poberezhets was scrapped when Danho fell to injury. He has not competed since.
Hardy, meanwhile, has won back-to-back fights against Dmitry Smolyakov and Juan Adams. The Adams fight was arguably his toughest test to date, one that Hardy passed.
UFC Singapore takes place October 26 at the Singapore Indoor Stadium in Kallang, Singapore.