This week it was announced that Greg Hardy would be getting a quick turnaround in the UFC, facing Juan Adams at UFC on ESPN 4 later this summer. It’s a fight that Hardy reportedly asked for and that’s perfectly okay with Adams. The former Fury FC amateur champion has been taking shots at Hardy for months in the hopes of getting to fight him, and now that his wish has come true, “The Kraken” is pulling no punches when talking about why he dislikes Hardy and why he wanted to face him in the first place.
“There are plenty of components to it,” Adams told Luke Thomas recently. “The domestic violence thing, yeah that’s a really big issue for me. My two issues on that are one, even if he wasn’t convicted of it – technically he’s innocent – he’s done nothing to make up for it. He’s paid no dues for that. His PR team, whatever, he’s going around talking like he’s a changed man [but] he’s done no work with women’s services, none of that. He hasn’t done anything with charities for victims of domestic violence or domestic abuse, none of that. So he’s talking the talk or trying to act like he’s changed but his actions aren’t proving that. His words say one thing, his actions say another. So that’s one issue.”
Adams is hardly the first person to take issue with Hardy’s troubled past. The former NFL Pro Bowl defensive end was convicted of domestic assault in a bench trial in 2014, but the decision was overturned upon appeal. His professional football career never recovered though and he was forced out of the NFL shortly thereafter. The UFC opting to sign a rank amateur with such a troubled past (Hardy has continually denied wrongdoing) drew the ire of the MMA media and a number of fans and remains part of the ongoing conversation around Hardy as he continues in his UFC career.
But that isn’t the only reason Adams wants to fight Hardy. Adams takes issue with Hardy’s entire MMA career up to this point. After Hardy left the NFL, he began training in MMA amassing a 3-0 amateur record that caught Dana White’s eye. After making his pro debut on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, Hardy was signed to a developmental contract. Three quick KOs later and Hardy was fighting in the UFC proper, losing by DQ against Allen Crowder after throwing an illegal knee in a fight he was likely losing. Hardy rebounded with a win over Dmitry Smolyakov, an opponent even Dana White was critical of. To Adams, all of that is indicative of the farce Hardy’s UFC path has been so far.
“The other issue I have with him is, you have to understand, he washed out of one sport because of his off the field issues,” Adams said. “He comes into another sport and he doesn’t follow the correct path. Look at his amateur career. He fought a guy that was 44, then he fought a guy that was 42, then he fought a guy that was 37, and then for his pro debut, yeah that guy has a 4-0 or 4-1 record but the guy walked around at 240. So he beats that guy, that guy hasn’t won a fight since then, he then fights a guy that looks like Jabba the Hut, I don’t think that guy has won a fight since then, and his third opponent was another guy that was 6 foot tall and walked around at 240. That’s not a real heavyweight. His opponents have gotten worse until Allen Crowder. Then he fights Allen Crowder and gets disqualified. Then he goes and fights a guy that’s 0-2 in the UFC that they re-signed just so he could beat him. Then he starts talking like he’s Michael Jordan? That’s so dumb.”
After knocking out Smolyakov, Hardy said he was “gonna make Bo Jackson look like a joke” and that he was going to be “the fights sports’ athlete version of what [Michael] Jordan could be.” And despite the fact that many MMA fighters have grandiose dreams of how their careers will go, Adams thinks that aspect of Hardy may be the part he dislikes the most.
“So on top of all those reasons, he’s just stupid on top of all of it,” Adams said. “And the stupidity aspect is really what bothered me more than anything. It really blows my mind and it’s almost incomprehensible how someone can be that delusional and that dumb.”
UFC on ESPN 4 takes place at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, TX on July 20.