Las Vegas, NV — Greg Hardy’s MMA journey has unfolded essentially 100% in the spotlight. The includes the highs, and probably more so the lows, given Hardy has been public enemy number one in the heavyweight division since arriving in the sport in 2018, and debuting for the UFC the following year.
At UFC 272 this weekend, Hardy (7-4, 1NC) enters his fight with Sergey Spivak off back-to-back losses, the most recent against current contender Tai Tuivasa. It’s a fight that saw Hardy have some early success before the tables were turned, all in little more than a minute.
“It was fun. I wanted to be in the middle of the ring a little more, but some people can’t take a punch,” Hardy said of the affair. “So, gotta chase them down. Made a little mistake, and you live and you learn.”
In terms of what Hardy learned from the Tuivasa fight, “don’t get hit in the face. That’s lesson number one,” he stated during this week’s UFC 272 media day, speaking to outlets including Cageside press.
Hardy wound up knocked out in the fight, but seems to have taken it in stride. Still, despite Hardy’s jovial attitude, he’s well aware of what another crushing loss could mean for his career.
“My clock is a little bit different that everybody else’s. Pretty much everybody wants me to lose, wants me outta here,” he acknowledged. “So big losses for me are a little more detrimental, so I feel like I do need to win. But at the same time, you got the what, he’s number three right now, Tai? I was fighting [Alexander] Volkov at number four. My inhaler took me out one fight, my lack of knowledge of the rules took me out of another fight. These aren’t fights that I’m actually losing, so as long as I keep going in my development, to me man, these losses are very, very small.”
The fight with Spivak arrives a little over a month after it was originally scheduled, for UFC 270 in January. Hardy revealed the full story behind what happened this week — and it was a doozy.
“You ready for this story? It’s wild. First of all, what happened was I dislocated my finger, so it bent backwards. Ruptured the front of my hand, the bone went through my nerve or tendon or whatever, and sliced that open, and I just had like flappy skin on the front,” Hardy recalled. “So I had to go get that stitched up. Then, it got infected, dope. Stitches broke, ended up having to get surgery on it to get rid of all the infection and repair the tendons or nerves, I don’t know much about finger anatomy. And healed up.”
“Just a freak practice accident,” Hardy said when asked how it occurred. After hitting pads hard enough to snap the digit back, “I relocated it myself, and then drove on to the hospital.”
Asked whether he was 100% so soon after surgery, Hardy said he was “Greg Hardy 100%, I’mma go to Russia and fight somebody 100%. America, f*ck yeah!”
Watch the full UFC 272 media day appearance from Greg Hardy above. The event takes place this Saturday, March 5, 2022 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, NV. More coverage from the event can be found below.