UFC books Greg Hardy – Aleksei Oleinik

The UFC has finalized a matchup between heavyweights for their January PPV. John Morgan of MMA Junkie was the first to report yesterday that the promotion has booked a matchup between Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC) and Aleksei Oleinik (59-16-1).

The matchup is expected to take place at UFC 270 on January 22nd. As you can tell by reading his record, Oleinik is going to be competing in his 77th professional fight. The Russian’s first fight came all the way back in 1996.

For context, Greg Hardy was just eight years old when Oleinik made his professional MMA debut. He’s fought all over the world but Oleinik made his way to the UFC back in 2014.

Oleinik has had a very solid run with the UFC going 9-7 during his sixteen fights with the promotion. He’s been in there with some of the very best in the world and has wins against the likes of Travis Browne, Mark Hunt, and former heavyweight champion Fabricio Werdum.

The last time we saw Oleinik was back in June when he lost a decision to Sergey Spivak at a UFC Fight Night. At 44 years old and having lost three in a row, this could be a do-or-die fight for Oleinik.

UFC’s Prince of War

Greg Hardy has had a decent transition from being an all-pro NFL player to a UFC fighter. After starting his professional MMA career with three first round knockouts, the UFC brought him on and put him in a co-main event immediately.

However, Hardy ended up losing by throwing an illegal knee to his opponent. After that, he won three straight fights, however, the third was ultimately ruled a No Contest due to Hardy using an inhaler.

At the end of 2020, Hardy was on a two-fight win streak and was taking on Marcin Tybura. Had Hardy won, you would have likely seen his name in the UFC rankings. He started out the fight with Tybura very well.

However, he ultimately gassed and was stopped in the second round. Most recently, he was knocked out in the first round by Tai Tuivasa at UFC 264. This is the first time in Hardy’s MMA career where he’s lost back-to-back fights.

Both of these men have their backs against a wall here and they need a win. It will also be incredibly obvious what the strategies are at UFC 270. Hardy wants to stand and trade while Oleinik will be trying to take him down. A fun clash of styles in January.

After destroying Greg Hardy at UFC 264, what’s next for Tai Tuivasa?

On Saturday night at UFC 264, Tai Tuivasa (12-3) took on Greg Hardy (7-4, 1 NC) on the main card. The battle of the heavyweight knockout artists promised to bring fireworks and it delivered on Saturday night.

After just a few seconds of feeling the other out, both men started throwing heat. Hardy actually landed the biggest shots early and appeared to briefly stun Tuivasa. However, Tuivasa had been there before and remained composed.

Hardy recklessly rushed in and Tuivasa blasted him with a left that put him down. While follow up shots were landed, they weren’t even needed as Tuivasa got the devastating first round knockout win at UFC 264.

Tuivasa has had a very up and down UFC career thus far. After starting out 3-0 inside the octagon, the Australian heavyweight lost three fights in a row. He has now responded with three consecutive first round knockout victories.

So, it’s been a wave of three fight streaks for Tuivasa in the UFC. Three straight wins followed by three straight losses and now three straight wins again. Perhaps “Bam Bam” could be gearing up for his first four-fight win streak.

What’s next after UFC 264?

The new UFC rankings came out today and Tuivasa didn’t crack the top fifteen after his win over Hardy on Saturday night. That said, I believe he is just on the fringe and having won three in a row, he should get a ranked opponent next or someone on the verge of being ranked.

With that, who should the UFC pair him with. Well, there are a few options, but one really jumps out at me. I would love to see the promotion book Tuivasa against top heavyweight prospect Tom Aspinall (10-2).

Out of Aspinall’s ten professional wins, not one has gone the distance. He’s got a tremendous skillset overall and he’s also currently just outside of the UFC heavyweight rankings. Both men are looking to crack the top fifteen and a fight between the two would get it done for one of them.

For Aspinall, it would be a massive fight to show off his toughness and his overall game. For Tuivasa, it would be a chance to show off that he’s still capable of being a top contender in the UFC’s heavyweight division.

Tai Tuivasa knocks out Greg Hardy at UFC 264

On the main card of UFC 264, we saw two heavyweight knockout artists go to war. Former All-Pro defensive lineman Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) took on the fan favorite Tai Tuivasa (11-3).

Greg Hardy was making the walk for the ninth time in his UFC career. Thus far, Hardy has a record of 4-3, 1 NC in his eight trips inside the octagon. One thing we have seen from Hardy is a steady improvement as his career has progressed.

In his last fight, Hardy lost to top ten contender Marcin Tybura. Hardy looked really good in the first round of their fight, but ultimately gassed and was finished on the ground. Taking out his DQ loss in his UFC debut, Hardy has only lost to Tybura and Alexander Volkov.

Standing across from Hardy tonight was “Bam Bam” Tai Tuivasa. Tuivasa was looking to pick up his third straight UFC win tonight. Back in 2018, Tuivasa looked like he was on the verge of a title shot.

He was a perfect 9-0 overall and he had won his first three UFC fights. However, he then suffered three consecutive losses which really set him back. He bounced back over the last year and he was looking to pickup another win tonight.

UFC 264 Recap

Round 1

The UFC 264 heavyweight clash kicks off with a touch of the gloves. Early jab throws from Hardy. Big low kicks from Tuivasa and he’s trying to chop down Hardy. Huge right straight lands for Greg Hardy.

Nice jab lands for Hardy, but he eats another big leg kick. Hardy steps forward with a big combination and Tuivasa seems to be wobbled. Hardy rushes forward and he’s clipped by a massive shot from Tuivasa and Hardy is dropped.

Tuivasa follows up and this one is over.

Tai Tuivasa def. Greg Hardy by TKO – Round 1

UFC 264 Preview: Greg Hardy – Tai Tuivasa

Tomorrow night on the main card of UFC 264, we will see two heavyweight knockout artists go to war. Former All-Pro defensive lineman Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) will be taking on the fan favorite Tai Tuivasa (11-3).

Greg Hardy will be making the walk for the ninth time in his UFC career. Thus far, Hardy has a record of 4-3, 1 NC in his eight trips inside the octagon. One thing we have seen from Hardy is a steady improvement as his career has progressed.

In his last fight, Hardy lost to top ten contender Marcin Tybura. Hardy looked really good in the first round of their fight, but ultimately gassed and was finished on the ground. Taking out his DQ loss in his UFC debut, Hardy has only lost to Tybura and Alexander Volkov.

Standing across from Hardy tomorrow night is “Bam Bam” Tai Tuivasa. Tuivasa will be looking to pick up his third straight UFC win tomorrow night. Back in 2018, Tuivasa looked like he was on the verge of a title shot.

He was a perfect 9-0 overall and he had won his first three UFC fights. However, he then suffered three consecutive losses which really set him back. He bounced back over the last year and he’s looking to make it three in a row tomorrow night.

UFC 264 Prediction

If there’s one fight on the UFC 264 main card that you should expect a knockout in, it’s this one. Both of these heavy hitters are going to come out with everything they have in the first round.

Now, of course because I said that, they will probably grapple the entire time and we will see a decision. The money coming in right now is on Tai Tuivasa and it’s not a bad bet considering his history and the history of Greg Hardy.

However, I’m going against the grain on this one and going with my gut. Something tells me that Greg Hardy is going to pickup the biggest win of his career at UFC 264. I think this fight ends in the first, and something tells me Greg Hardy connects with something big.

Prediction: Greg Hardy by TKO – Round 1

After another loss at UFC Vegas 28, what’s next for Walt Harris?

This past Saturday in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 28, Walt Harris (13-10, 1 NC) took on Marcin Tybura (22-6). Harris was looking to bounce back after suffering two consecutive losses in 2020.

It’s hard not to root for a guy like Walt Harris. Back in 2019, Harris was surging in the UFC‘s heavyweight division. On the heels of two consecutive knockout wins in the first minute of the first round, Harris looked like he was on the verge of contending for a title.

However, that’s when tragedy struck. Harris’ daughter was murdered in Alabama and it completely turned his world upside down. The Big Ticket contemplated hanging things up, but fought on because that’s what he said his daughter would have wanted him to do.

An emotional Walt Harris returned in May of last year to take on Alistair Overeem. In the first round, it looked like Harris was seconds away from the TKO win. However, Overeem withstood the storm and ended up finishing Harris in the second.

That loss snapped Harris’ UFC winning streak. Then, Harris was stopped at UFC 254 by Alexander Volkov. In that fight, Harris really never had any momentum. After those two losses, Harris moved his camp to Las Vegas to train at Xtreme Couture.

Harris worked alongside the UFC heavyweight champion Francis Ngannou as he prepared for Saturday. On Saturday night, Harris looked great early. It appeared that he was on the verge of stopping Tybura. However, Tybura weathered the storm and got Harris down. Once it was there, it was all Tybura and he got the finish.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 28?

It’s hard not to feel for The Big Ticket after UFC Vegas 28. He’s on a three fight losing streak now, but in two of those fights, he looked like he was moments away from getting a finish of his own. However, he never could land that finishing blow.

The question now becomes, what’s next? Well, I think the UFC can still book Harris against a quality opponent. Again, he’s still being competitive with some top ten heavyweights, he just has a few things he needs to tighten up.

I think Harris needs a slight step back, but still should get a quality name. If I was the UFC, I would look at booking him against the winner of Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) and Tai Tuivasa (11-3). Those two will square off at UFC 264.

Whoever wins that matchup will be on the fringe of the top fifteen. That is exactly where Harris’ next opponent needs to come from. He needs a quality name, but a slight step back in competition to get him back on the right track.

UFC books Greg Hardy – Tai Tuivasa

The UFC is finalizing a big time matchup in the heavyweight division for their July PPV. MMA Junkie reported yesterday that the promotion was closing the deal on a heavyweight clash between knockout artists Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) and Tai Tuivasa (11-3).

The matchup will take place at UFC 264 on July 10th. Greg Hardy has been asking for this matchup and the former NFL player is getting his wish. Hardy wanted someone to stand and trade with and he will get that in Tuivasa.

In 2020, it looked like Greg Hardy was taking a big step forward in his UFC career. He had a good decision win over Yorgan De Castro before knocking out Maurice Greene in October.

After that knockout of Greene, the UFC turned Hardy around quickly to have him fight Marcin Tybura in December. A win over Tybura would have likely put Hardy in the UFC‘s top fifteen in the heavyweight division.

In the first round, Hardy looked fantastic. His striking was good and his speed was giving Tybura fits. However, Hardy gassed out badly and in the second round he was taken down. Once on the ground, he looked completely lost and Tybura got the TKO over an exhausted Greg Hardy.

For Hardy to take the next step in his UFC career, he needs a signature win. He needs a win over a big guy with a good following behind him. He’s going to get that chance on July 10th.

UFC 264 heavyweight clash

In June of 2019, it looked like Tai Tuivasa was going to challenge for the UFC heavyweight title. The Australian was a perfect 9-0 and he was souring in the heavyweight division. That’s when he met former champion, Junior Dos Santos.

JDS knocked Tuivasa out in the second round. After that, the UFC gave Tuivasa the tough Blagoy Ivanov and Ivanov won by decision. At UFC 243, Sergey Spivak was able to secure an arm-triangle choke against Tuivasa in the second round.

After starting his career perfectly, Tuivasa has lost three in a row. With his back against the wall, the UFC gave Tuivasa a fight with Stefan Struve last October. Tuivasa got back to his winning ways with a first round knockout.

He followed that up with another first round knockout a couple of weeks ago over Harry Hunsucker. Now, with back-to-back knockout wins, Tuivasa looks to have his mojo back. Whoever wins at UFC 264 is going to take a big step forward and I think it’s safe to say this fight won’t go the distance.

Greg Hardy’s biggest weakness was on full display at UFC Vegas 17

Last weekend at UFC Vegas 17, Greg Hardy (7-3, 1 NC) was looking to pickup his third straight win inside the octagon. Hardy had competed twice in 2020 and won both of his fights against Yorgan De Castro and Maurice Greene.

The order in front of him was to defeat Marcin Tybura (21-6). Tybura was bringing his own winning streak into the octagon having won three-straight UFC fights. The winner was expected to break into the UFC‘s top 15.

In the first round, Greg Hardy looked fantastic. His hands looked extremely crisp and he was busting Tybura up. I was also really impressed with the pace of Greg Hardy. He didn’t seem to be going crazy and he was staying composed.

Hardy was picking his shots and tying together combinations that were landing. However, Tybura wasn’t going away. When the fight went into the second round, there was a massive difference in Greg Hardy.

Hardy did well in the first half of round two, however, he was fading extremely fast. Tybura was able to get Hardy to the ground later in the round and the fight didn’t last long after the fight touched the ground.

Hardy was extremely tired and Tybura started throwing big shots from half guard. There was no fight put up from Hardy and the referee called a stop to the action and Greg Hardy suffered his first loss by stoppage at UFC Vegas 17.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 17?

It’s becoming very clear that cardio is an issue for Greg Hardy. In his UFC fights, we’ve seen that he has very solid technique with his hands. His technique and his overall ability is getting better every single day.

However, the cardio is something that’s not. Hardy is a very big heavyweight who has to cut down to the heavyweight limit of 265 pounds. In his previous UFC fight, he actually missed weight on the first attempt.

Carrying the amount of muscle that he does and going through a weight cut compromises his cardio. Not too mention that Hardy also deals with asthma which of course doesn’t help his cardio. Hardy had a win overturned to a no-contest because he used an inhaler in between rounds.

I’m very impressed with the technical advancements Hardy’s made over the last couple of years. However, to make that next jump, he needs to alter a few things. I really believe that Hardy needs to shed a little muscle and trim down.

He needs to get himself to a weight where he can fight for more than five minutes without appearing exhausted. If he cannot improve his cardio, he’s never going to reach the elite levels in the UFC.

UFC Vegas 17 Preview: Greg Hardy – Marcin Tybura

Tomorrow night there’s an intriguing heavyweight clash at UFC Vegas 17. That heavyweight clash features former All-Pro defensive lineman, Greg Hardy (7-2, 1 NC), taking on the surging Marcin Tybura (20-6).

Both of these fighters will be looking to break into the UFC‘s top 15 at heavyweight with a win tomorrow night. It’s been an interesting ride for Greg Hardy so far in his UFC career.

Hardy was awarded a developmental deal with the UFC after winning his first two pro fights on Dana White’s Contender Series. After getting another first round knockout in XFN, Hardy got the call to the big show.

Hardy lost in his first pro fight after he was disqualified for throwing an illegal knee. After that fight he won two straight by knockout. He then defeated Ben Sosoli by decision, but the fight was turned to a No Contest after Hardy used an inhaler.

Hardy stepped in last minute to face Alexander Volkov in his first UFC main event after that where he lost. Since then, he defeated Yorgan De Castro by decision and he’s knocked out Maurice Greene.

Standing across from Hardy is Marcin Tybura. The former M-1 Heavyweight champion has won three-fights in a row leading into UFC Vegas 17. After entering the promotion with only one loss, Tybura has gone 7-5 in the UFC.

UFC Vegas 17 Prediction

The heavyweight battle at UFC Vegas 17 is going to go one of two ways in my opinion. Either Hardy is going to get another first round knockout or Tybura is going to grind out another decision victory.

Tybura is the type of fighter who is just going to bull forward and push you against the fence. From there, he does a good job of using dirty boxing and clinch strikes to wear out his opponents.

We’ve seen Hardy’s gas tank look a little dicey at times in his UFC career. Tybura has been finished before and you can bet Hardy can finish him if he connects. However, that’s a big if.

Hardy is going to have to be patient and look for big shots as Tybura is coming in. I don’t see Hardy’s power translating well over a three round grinding fight. If he’s going to get it done, he has to do it early.

Unfortunately for Greg Hardy, I’m not sure he’s going to be able to do it. He can easily put Tybura away, but something tells me we are going to see Tybura using his superior clinch game tomorrow night to get a decision.

Prediction: Marcin Tybura by Unanimous Decision

What’s next for Greg Hardy after UFC Vegas 12?

This past weekend at UFC Vegas 12, Greg Hardy (7-2, 1 NC) took on “The Crochet Boss” Maurice Greene (9-5). The fight was all Hardy from the very beginning. After dropping Greene a couple of times, Hardy closed the show in the second round.

It was the second UFC victory of 2020 for the former NFL All-Pro defensive lineman. Back in May, Hardy defeated Yorgan De Castro by Unanimous Decision at UFC 249. Hardy continued to show improvement this past Saturday evening.

Former UFC light heavyweight champion, Rashad Evans, has taken Hardy under his wing. You can tell that Hardy has really put all of his time and effort into becoming a better mixed martial artist. In the past, Hardy always seemed to leave the door open for an NFL return.

However, this past week, Hardy said that MMA has completely taken over his life. Hardy could be a very dangerous contender if he continues to tighten things up and progressing down the path that he’s currently on.

What’s next after UFC Vegas 12?

I personally think it’s time that the UFC steps up the competition for Greg Hardy. Outside of the Ben Sosoli No Contest, the only fight that Greg Hardy hasn’t won in the last year and a half was the last minute fight against Alexander Volkov.

If I was playing matchmaker after this last performance, I would give Hardy someone who’s either on the fringe of the top 15 or someone who’s on the backend. If you want to give him someone with a ranking, I would look at Marcin Tybura.

However, I think there’s a better option that will come out of this upcoming weekend. At UFC Vegas 13, Tanner Boser is scheduled to take on Andrei Arlovski. I think the winner of that fight would be a good next step for Hardy in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

Greg Hardy looking to show improvement at UFC Vegas 12

Tomorrow night at UFC Vegas 12, Greg Hardy (6-2, 1 NC) will be making the walk to the octagon for the sixth time. The former all-pro defensive lineman in the NFL has had an up and down career so far in the UFC.

Hardy will be taking on “The Crochet Boss” Maurice Green (9-4) on tomorrow’s main card. This will be the second fight of the year for Hardy. He fought back at UFC 249 and defeated Yorgan De Castro by decision.

Hardy came into the sport of MMA with a ton of hype. After some issues in his personal life essentially ended his NFL career, Hardy decided to change his focus to MMA. Since making that transition, Hardy seems to be a completely different person and he’s dedicated himself to the sport.

He was knocking everyone out left and right when he started. Then he ran into his first hurdle against Allen Crowder. Crowder was the first person that Hardy couldn’t just knockout and he gassed in that fight. He ended up losing by DQ due to an illegal knee.

Following that fight, Hardy won two straight fights by first round knockout. He then won another fight by decision, but it was overturned due to his use of an inhaler. He lost to Alexander Volkov in a short notice main event for the UFC back in November.

UFC Vegas 12 is a big night for Hardy

Hardy is a top level athlete, and he has all the tools to become a great fighter in the UFC. However, it’s never easy for someone to transition to the sport after only competing and training for a few years. Yet, here we are with Hardy.

This week at the UFC Vegas 12 media day, Hardy acknowledged that he still has a ways to go. He said that he believes he’s only on the B-level as of now. I think he’s fringe b/c, but if he can come out and defeat Maurice Greene, he will be at the b-level.

Greene is not going to be an easy fight for Hardy. Maurice Greene comes out of a great camp and he’s extremely fluid on his feet. Not too mention he’s got very good submissions and should have the advantage on the ground should the fight go there.

Whoever comes out victorious tomorrow night could be looking at a ranking in their near future. If not a ranking, for sure a ranked opponent will be in their future. It should be a fantastic fight in the heavyweight division.