UFC 249: Yorgan De Castro Hopes Greg Hardy Isn’t Overlooking Him

Yorgan De Castro will walk into UFC 249 an undefeated prospect. At 6-0, he’s not even close to knocking on the door of a title shot. Yet a win over the controversial Greg Hardy (following a victory against Mark Hunt protégé Justin Tafa) would do wonders for his standing.

For his career. For his following. And De Castro, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press at the UFC 249 virtual media day, is definitely aware. He knows Greg Hardy brings eyeballs, which will lead to more media and fan attention.

“I’m okay with that. I got on the Contender Series because people thought my opponent was a big thing. And I won that night, I finished him,” De Castro told Cageside Press.

“My UFC debut [against Tafa] was the same thing. My opponent was a home[town] boy in Australia. All the attention that I got was because of him.” If you look at it that way, De Castro is making a career out of derailing hype trains.

“I knew that as soon as the UFC announced the [Greg Hardy] fight, the attention would draw to me. I’m okay with that,” the heavyweight continued. “That’s what I want. I want people to tune in and pay attention to Greg Hardy, but at the end of the night, they’re going to be talking about me.”

That could very well be the case. While De Castro may not be a household name yet, a finish of Hardy — despised by many thanks to a checkered past that Yorgan De Castro has wisely avoided commenting on — would help get him there.

And it’s a real possibility. Hardy enters UFC 249 with a new team behind him. He’s had his stumbles, and is coming off a loss to Alexander Volkov. De Castro, meanwhile, has built up a head of steam.

Hardy may also be distracted. He’s been talking about Dana White’s Fight Island concept. Competing on there several times, if possible, this year. For his part, De Castro hopes the former NFL player is focused, and not overlooking him.

“I hope he’s not. That’s a big mistake. I’m 6-0 for a reason, because everybody else overlooked me, and I ended up finishing them in the first round,” he observed. “If you overlook me, that’s a big mistake. I have skills, I have power, I have the will, and I have a dream. I’m fighting for my family. I think overlooking me is a big mistake.”

Yorgan De Castro faces Greg Hardy at UFC 249 this Saturday, May 9. The heavyweight bout opens up the main card of the PPV event, which takes place at the Vystar Veterans Memorial Arena in Jacksonville, Florida.