Ex-NFL star Greg Hardy will look to correct course at UFC Columbus, where he’ll face Yorgan de Castro.
Controversial heavyweight Greg Hardy will return to the octagon this March at UFC Columbus. In an announcement on their official website, UFC officials revealed that Hardy will face the undefeated Yorgan de Castro at the event, anticipated to air on ESPN. As well, Sam Alvey will return, taking on Khalil Rountree Jr. in what is expected to be the latter’s retirement fight.
A third contest was also announced Friday, featuring Louis Smolka and Davey Grant at bantamweight.
Hardy (5-2, 1NC) has met controversy at nearly every turn of his career to date. A brief amateur career was followed by a pair of Contender Series bouts and a developmental deal which most felt came too soon. Hardy would go on to make his octagon debut, only to be DQ’d for an illegal knee against Allen Crowder. He returned against questionable competition in Dmitry Smolyakov, then faced off with Juan Adams, earning the most notable win of his UFC run thus far. A subsequent fight against Ben Sosoli at UFC Boston, however, saw Hardy’s decision win overturned to a no contest after he used an inhaler between rounds.
Hardy most recently took a short-notice fight against Alexander Volkov at UFC Moscow, surviving three rounds against the heavyweight contender, in a fight that saw Volkov play it safe.
Against Yorgan de Castro (6-0) Hardy meets a fighter with stoppages in five of his six professional bouts. Like Hardy, de Castro is a Contender Series alum. He won his promotional debut in October at UFC 243, finishing Justin Tafa.
Sam Alvey (33-13, 1NC) will look to snap a three-fight losing streak when he faces off with light heavyweight Khalil Rountree Jr. (8-4, 1NC). Ultimate Fighter runner-up Rountree has said this fight will be his last. That’s a bit of a surprise, as the 29-year old is 2-2 in his last four bouts.
Smolka (16-6) will look to make it two in a row, meanwhile, after a TKO win against Ryan MacDonald at UFC Vancouver in September. Grant (11-4) also comes in off a lone win, over Grigorii Popov at UFC Moscow.
UFC Columbus takes place March 28, 2020 at the Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.