In just over a year, Greg Hardy has had two fights on Dana White’s Contender Series as well as two UFC fights. That whirlwind of a year has had its ups and downs.
Hardy won both his DWCS fights in emphatic fashion, which earned him a contract in the UFC. He would go on to make his UFC debut on the UFC Brooklyn card in January against Allen Crowder, but get disqualified in that fight for an illegal knee to his downed opponent.
After that disqualification loss, Hardy fought at UFC Fort Lauderdale at the end of April. He would knock out Dmitrii Smoliakov in the first round. That result was more of what Hardy was expecting once he started his UFC career.
We caught up with Hardy before his UFC San Antonio showdown with Juan Adams to find out what are some of the things he has learned since his UFC journey started.
“I found out what it was like to be alone out there. I found out what it was like to be in a place where you didn’t know, to be in an actual fight. For the first time in my life I didn’t have ten other guys that had my back. There was no other focus on the field or on the mat - it was just me, it was him, I could hear the crowd and my coaches.”
It was a place where I had to humble myself again and just take notice and actually be a rookie. Through learning all that and just going through that experience, I took into my next fight a whole different attitude. Just being calm, actually seeing everything and being ready for the crowd, being ready for the hype and for the coaches. Using the energy in the appropriate way and coming out calm and that’s what’s going to help me dominate from here on out.”
“With so many different disciplines it’s been important for me to find balance. That means balance in my mind and balance in my body and my routine. Going from jiu-jitsu to wrestling to boxing to kickboxing and to judo, it’s a journey to be well-rounded. Mixed martial arts has helped me find that balance between my mind, body and spirituality.”
“In MMA, it’s the opposite [being more aggressive]. I found out how to hone those things, how to bring it down and use it to my benefit. (To) Literally find the peace in the violence. Find those gaps, find the pleasant place in this because you cannot exist as a human being consistently and effectively in that kind of negativity, that kind of violence and that high maintenance situation.”
Hardy believes that these lessons have helped him change his outlook on his new career and will propel him to further success in the sport.
Make sure you tune into ESPN at 9pm/6pm ETPT to watch “The Prince of War” take on Juan Adams on the main card of UFC San Antonio.
Gavin Porter is a digital producer and writer for UFC.com, follow him on Twitter at @PorterUFCNews