Yet Hardy’s limited Octagon experience did little to deter his confidence as he hoped to take the fight out of the hands of superstition by giving Bruce Buffer a fist bump before the fight started.
This confidence led to Hardy taking the center of the Octagon and going on the prowl for the 37-year-old veteran. Hardy looked for an opening, and while he was having no trouble throwing, he was having a little bit of trouble landing any of his strikes in the opening 90 seconds.
A head kick by Hardy echoed throughout the arena and Smoliakov found himself spending the rest of the fight in survival mode. When Hardy dropped Smoliakov, the wrestler realized that the ground wasn’t where he wanted to be after all.
After knocking Smoliakov’s mouthpiece out with hammer fists, Greg Hardy was pulled off his opponent at 2:15 of the first round, securing his first UFC victory.
Hardy celebrated and poured out his appreciation for his team and his new home state before saying he’d be willing to fight any time his management team told him to. With five fights in 2019, he certainly stayed true to his word.
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Greg Hardy vs Dmitrii Smoliakov here: https://ufcfightpass.com/video/97285