With his latest scandal coming after using an inhaler between rounds at UFC Boston, Greg Hardy feels he’s the victim, despite “doing everything I’m supposed to be doing.”
Boston, MA — First thing’s first: Greg Hardy looked like an improved fighter at UFC Boston. He went a full fifteen minutes against the ‘Combat Wombat’ Ben Sosoli. A first in Hardy’s fighting career. His kicks were on point. He wasn’t just swinging for the fences.
Only one problem: he used an inhaler between rounds, which saw the fight overturned to a no contest. Welcome to the troubled world of Greg Hardy.
The Greg Hardy experiment has been a questionable one from the get-go. The UFC scooped up the disgraced NFL star after a brief amateur career and just a handful of pro fights, two of which came on the Contender Series. Green fighters will have their struggles, sure, but so far, Hardy has been prone to bone-headed moves. And while his name will get him a few more fights, it certainly isn’t looking good for Hardy’s MMA venture.
Two of Hardy’s four UFC fights have ended in controversy. His debut, against Allen Crowder, was a DQ loss due to an illegal knee. Now, Hardy’s use of an inhaler between rounds sees an original unanimous decision win overturned.
Hardy defended his inhaler use at the UFC Boston post-fight press conference, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “It’s a Ventolin Albuterol inhaler for exercise-induced asthma,” Hardy stated. “Had it my whole life.”
“Google it,” he later added.
Between the second and third rounds against Sosoli, Hardy called for the inhaler. He did ask permission from a commission rep, and was overheard stating it was “USADA approved.” Hardy expanded on that comment post-fight, saying “it’s on the commission paperwork when I weighed in, it’s on the USADA paperwork when I take every single drug test so that y’all know that I’m not taking steroids, I’m just naturally a monster.”
Whether it was allowed in-competition was the question. To be fair to Hardy, at that point, it’s the commission that should have known, one way or the other. More confusion arose when the UFC’s own execs couldn’t get their stories straight. UFC VP of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner said on Friday’s broadcast that using it was illegal. However, UFC VP of Athlete Health and Performance Jeff Novitzky claimed it was allowed under a certain threshold.
USADA, which relies on the WADA (World Anti-Doping Agency) code, does allow it under certain thresholds. The Massachusetts commission also adheres to that code.
All this confusion could result in an appeal from Hardy, but he wasn’t concerning himself with that Friday. “I’m really just worried about what my boss thinks. The worst part for me is, here I am letting people down again.”
“I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing,” he continued. “I asked permission, he told me I could, and I’m trouble again.”
Later, Hardy would clarify that he never used the inhaler in a fight before. “I’ve never used it in a fight, which is why I asked permission.”
He would rather people be talking about his performance. And worried that the controversy was taking the shine away from other fights on the card. Social media, of course, lit up after the controversy.
Shittttt I got asthma too 😤 #ufcboston
— Eryk Anders (@erykanders) October 19, 2019
“I just fought more time than I’ve ever fought in my whole entire career, and we’re sitting here talking about an inhaler that I’ve used my whole entire career,” Hardy complained. “That’s a crappy feeling. I never want to take away from the UFC brand, I never want to take away from anybody’s shine, and I think that’s what has happened, and I’m not okay with it.”
Watch the full UFC Boston post-fight press conference with Greg Hardy above!