As the “Prince of War” Greg Hardy looks to ascend to “King of War” status, Poland’s Marcin Tybura is the next man in the way.
Hardy (7-2, 1NC) had a rocky start to his UFC career. But inside the cage, at least, he’s shown some steady development, and enters UFC Vegas 17 this weekend against Tybura on a two-fight win streak.
The former NFL Pro Bowler has a certain image in mind when it comes to how the fight plays out. “Hopefully we bleed a lot. We both get $50,000 for Fight of the Night. And we go to Disney World,” he told Cageside Press during the event’s media day on Thursday.
Hardy’s in-cage career in one thing. Life out of the cage is another. Hardy’s checkered past continues to dog him. Look no further than his last fight, which was nearly derailed by what Hardy later described as an extortion attempt. Things ahead of the Tybura fight have been smoother, however. And of late, Hardy has been seen in the company of one of the most intimidating fighters in history: “Iron” Mike Tyson.
Of course, Tyson has gone through his own redemption story. Lost it all, went to prison, came back, returned to the forefront of popular culture. Hardy’s own public stumbles — a domestic violence trial, being bounced from the NFL — carry a similar weight. Whether he finds redemption, or even wants it, remains to be seen.
At least in the sense of losing millions and then gaining it all back, Hardy sees Tyson as an inspiration. “This is a great man. Anybody that can get it in the first place,” said Hardy, noting that like Tyson, he has accomplished “many, many, many things in this world that no one will ever do.”
“So to be able to be even around that guy, let alone being around the guys that taught him and coached him, is phenomenal. It’s really blown my mind,” said Hardy.
By working with Team Tyson, Hardy is hoping to “attain some skills that aren’t obtainable anywhere else, so it’s phenomenal man,” he continued. “I’m loving Team Tyson right now. Can’t wait to be a part [of it].”
And perhaps that association will lead to a crossover with the boxing world for Greg Hardy. Asked if a boxing match was something that would interest him in future, Hardy replied in the affirmative.
“After I get done shutting this down, handling my MMA business, I want to venture into the boxing realm,” Hardy told Cageside Press. “I’m trying to holler at Dana [White]. Hopefully we can get some fights in the Zuffa Boxing world, Top Rank, Al Haymon — somebody come holler at this dude because I definitely want to go over there and knock out ‘The Gypsy King,’ make light work of that English cat Joshua, or whatever his name is, ‘Cry-baby Bomber.’ We’ll knock all those guys out, man. Of course you know I’m going to work for it. It’s an aspiration I think will come true real fast, and I can’t wait for it.”
Watch the full UFC Vegas 17 media day press scrum with Greg Hardy above.