The tumultuous, windy road of the professional athletic tenure of Greg Hardy spans long before he made the decision to begin training in mixed martial arts. Hardy has remained in the spotlight, rather infamously, to the casual MMA fan. His reputation marred by a past ridden with mistakes he made while carrying out an all-pro pass rushing level in his NFL career. The winding of that aforementioned road did not begin to smooth out once he arrived to the UFC’s heavyweight division, despite only three professional fights that accumulated a mere 2:14 of total fight time.
A 5-2 professional record paired with a no contest could very easily be 7-1 for Hardy, had he zigged where he should have zagged and avoided the illegal knees and inhalers of the world.
Now, after the ups and downs of Hardy’s opening chapter to his UFC swan song, an undefeated contender series standout in Yorgan De Castro stares across the cage at the former football star. With Hardy’s resume of opponents varying from castaways like Dmitry Smoliakov to contenders like Alexander Volkov, the result awaiting between he and De Castro would surely give people an idea of where Hardy’s game is in the heavyweight division.
Fireworks of the fast and furious variety were on display right out of the gates between the heavy handed Hardy and De Castro. De Castro began putting together good use of his kicks early on, paired with a solid display of counterstriking, effectively clipping Hardy multiple times on the entry. The power advantage presumably belonged to Hardy coming into the fight, however three minutes in one would begin to get the sense that the advantage in the accuracy department would belong to De Castro. Hardy begun to up the ante with his aggressive nature as the round continued on, and swarmed De Castro at one point late in the round to cap off what ultimately was a very competitive opening round.
As round two unfolded, De Castro appeared to become uncomfortable in his stance as the frame went on. His activity waned and waned as the round went by, implying a potential underlying injury or cardio deficiency arising for the Cape Verde native. Hardy continued to press on, and throw volume.
Hardy continued to appear to pull away in the third frame, De Castro seeming to be bothered by according to broadcaster speculation, a potential foot injury. De Castro slipped and was on his back halfway through the round, and stayed on his back for nearly a minute. Hardy appears to be cruising en route to his first official win since July of last year, with his continuous activity being the prime indicator.
Official Result: Greg Hardy def. Yorgan De Castro by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)