To the surprise of some, the UFC did not officially sign Greg Hardy after his second win at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
But Hardy’s developmental deal is still in effect, so the push — and other sorts of help — from the UFC won’t stop here, according to UFC president Dana White — the promotion will continue to build up the former NFL football player until he’s ready for the big show.
Hardy beat Tebaris Gordon via knockout in 17 seconds in the season finale’s headliner on Tuesday, marking his second pro MMA win (out of two pro fights). Hardy made his pro debut on the same show just last month, beating fellow ex-football player Austen Lane in under a minute. Hardy earned his developmental deal following that victory.
Despite his controversial past of domestic violence and drugs, Hardy has a name behind him, so it seems like it’s just a matter of time before the UFC signs him. White said Hardy simply needs more experience. Luckily for him, time is certainly on his side.
“I said (to him after the fight), ‘How’s your wrestling? You better start working on it, because nobody’s gonna stand with you from here on out,’” White said on the broadcast. “He says, ‘I’m working on it all day, every day — don’t worry about it.’
“He’s got two fights now. Some of these kids that are coming in here have 12, 13 fights, some are 7-0. We’ve got nothing but time. He needs to get some more work in.”
White told media after the event that Hardy not getting signed right away comes down to the level of competition he’s fought thus far. White believes Hardy needs to be tested a bit more than he has been before taking the major next step.
“The guy was 1-0, and he just fought a guy who was 3-0,” White said (via MMAFighting.com). … “The guy hits hard, he’s big, he’s strong, he’s confident. He got hit with a couple shots on the chin; he took them. It’s all gonna be about that ground game when that happens to him.
“We’re gonna continue to build this guy, continue to get him fights, and see what he does.”