Greg Hardy said he was in a much better place heading into his second UFC fight and, judging by the results, he was not lying.
The former star NFL defensive end didn’t take long to dispense with Russian heavyweight Dmitri Smoliakov on Saturday night, at 2:15 of the first round.
— UFC (@ufc) April 28, 2019
Reaction to Hardy’s inside the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida, was mixed. In November of 2015, horrific details emerged after Hardy was arrested for assaulting Nicole Holder, his girlfriend at the time. The former Ole Miss player was eventually allowed to continue his NFL career, sparking outrage at both Hardy and the NFL.
Hardy’s first UFC fight went awry, resulting in the former Dallas Cowboy getting disqualified in his January 19th bout against Allen Crowder.
This time around, Hardy stayed much more focused. Putting together a combination of different strikes, including a head kick and several thunderous upper cuts.
“It felt amazing, man,” Hardy said in his post-fight interview. “I didn’t get lost in it this time. I knew my purpose, I came out and executed.”
The win improves Hardy’s overall MMA record to 4-1, 1-1 in the UFC.
Follow Dylan Gwinn on Twitter @themightygwinn