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.

UFC: Three biggest stars to come out of the contender series

Tomorrow night marks the return of UFC president Dana White’s Contender Series. The contender series made it’s debut back in 2017.

The show has produced incredible fights and the show has introduced us to many fighters who are now prominent in the UFC.

With the return of the series starting tomorrow, I decided to take a look at the three biggest stars, in my opinion, to come out of Dana White’s contender series.

Suga Sean O’Malley

To me, the biggest star is not questionable. The biggest star to come out of the contender series is Suga Sean O’Malley (12-0). O’Malley burst onto the scene when he knocked out Alfred Khashakyan on the show.

Since his appearance on the show, O’Mally has gone 4-0 in the UFC. He had some USADA issues that kept him out of action for a couple of years, but he’s returned in full force in 2020.

O’Malley has scored back-to-back first round knockouts looking better than he ever has. At just 25 years old, the Suga Show is becoming must see TV. He has all the makings to be the next superstar. O’Malley fights Chito Vera at UFC 252 in a couple of weeks.

Geoff Neal

Handz of Steel Geoff Neal (13-2) appeared on the contender series back in 2017. That night, Neal knocked out Chase Waldon in the first round earning himself a shot in the UFC.

Since joining the promotion, Neal has looked incredible. Neal has gone 5-0 with only one fight going the distance. Neal has the makeup to be a big star in the UFC. He’s got incredible talent and a killer instinct.

Because he is so dangerous, the promotion was having a difficult timing finding Neal a fight in 2020. It became so bad that Neal had to pick up a job serving tables just to make some extra money.

However, Neal was recently booked to take on fellow top 15 welterweight Neil Magny on August 29th. If Neal looks impressive in that contest, he might only be a couple of wins away from getting a shot at the title.

Edmen Shahbazyan

Edmen Shahbazyan (11-1) was making headlines last week because everyone believes he’s going to be a star. The 22 year old went into UFC Vegas 5 at 11-0 with 10 first round finishes. One of those finishes came in the contender series.

Shahbazyan was humbled over the weekend by Derek Brunson and he suffered the first loss of his career. Again, at just 22, the future is very bright for Shahbazyan. The man could still become world champion one day.

He’s still going to be ranked in the top ten of the UFC‘s middleweight division despite the loss. With the talent and following he has already, you can’t deny that he’s one of the biggest stars we’ve seen come out of the show.

Other UFC notables

In addition to the three that I mentioned, there have been several other big time fighters to come out of the show. Fighters like Dan Ige, Ian Heinisch, Maycee Barber, Greg Hardy, Ricky Simon, and Ryan Spann amongst others.

White’s show has been incredibly successful about finding some premier talent. I’m pumped that the show is coming back, and I’m looking forward to seeing some of the future stars of the UFC.

UFC: Greg Hardy – Khalil Rountree targeted for UFC 252

UFC 252 is quickly becoming a card for the heavyweights. The main event features the conclusion to the trilogy between Daniel Cormier and Stipe Miocic while the co-main event is scheduled to feature Junior Dos Santos and Jairzinho Rozenstruik. Combate is reporting that the UFC is planning on another heavyweight matchup for the August card.

According to Raphael Marinho of Combate, Greg Hardy (6-2, 1 NC) and Khalil Rountree (8-4) will be going head to head on August 15th. For Rountree, the Hardy fight will mark his first fight at heavyweight, and potentially the last fight of his career. Back in December, Rountree said his next fight would be his last.

From All-Pro to UFC contender

The former all-pro defensive lineman, Hardy, has had an interesting MMA career thusfar. He came storming out of the gate winning three straights by first round knockout, then he ran into issues against Allen Crowder. Hardy went on to lose that fight by DQ due to an illegal knee.

After that loss, Hardy would go on to win back to back fights. We last saw Hardy at UFC 249 where he was able to secure a unanimous decision victory over Yorgan De Castro. There are no questions that Hardy will look to make this a statement victory on his way to the top fifteen in the UFC‘s heavyweight division.

The UFC‘s heavyweight division will see a lot of action on August 15th. Three big fights currently scheduled on the main card. Top contenders Francis Ngannou and Curtis Blaydes just won a pair of fights which secure their spots at the top of the division. The heavyweight division is lacking right now so it makes sense that the UFC is trying to capitalize on the August card by stacking the deck with heavyweight fights.