Allen Crowder was welcoming Greg Hardy to the UFC in the co-main event of the first ever ESPN card.
The hype was all about Hardy entering the fight. However, Crowder proved he could handle Hardy’s punches and actually started to have success in the fight. Then, in the second round, Hardy threw an illegal knee which knocked Crowder to his back in which the doctors called off the fight. With that, Hardy was disqualified and suffered his first ever loss.
Following the fight, fans were saying Hardy threw the knee to get out of the fight. However, Crowder doesn’t believe that to be the case.
“I don’t think he was looking for a way out,” Crowder said on the MMA Hour this week (transcript via MMA Fighting). “I think it’s more inexperience. He’s not been doing this very long. He stepped out to the side. I believe in his mind he thought … I know he knew he’s not allowed to throw that knee with me on the ground. But I think heated up in the heat of the moment, he just forgot for a split second and threw that knee trying to get that finish. He just made a mistake. Another mistake of many mistakes that he makes. But I don’t feel like he was trying to cop out of the fight. He’s a tough dude. I think it was just an inexperience kind of thing.”
Although the knee did end the fight, Crowder is healthy. He wanted to take a minute to gather his focus but before he could, the doctors called the fight off.
“It more stunned me than anything,” he said. “I fell back to my back and I knew that he wasn’t allowed to do that. So I was like, alright, I’m gonna take a second, I’m gonna get back up, we’ll be good to go. Then the doctors start running in there and they immediately stop the fight and whatnot.
“Had that knee not hit me in the head, I feel like I was gonna get him back on the ground,” Crowder said. “I still had more left in the tank. I feel like if I got him back on the ground, I would have finished him with elbows like I planned on from the beginning.”
In the end, Crowder got the win, although not the way he wanted. However, Crowder did have success and completed his mission entering the fight.
“I wanted to show he wasn’t ready for the UFC yet,” Crowder concluded. “I feel like I’ve done that, I feel like I showed he wasn’t experienced, I showed that he still has work to do on the ground. He’s a strong guy, he got backup. Most people, when I get them on the ground they don’t get back up.”