Greg Hardy was set to make his UFC debut in the co-main event of the first ever card of the ESPN-era. Hardy was 3-0 as a professional with all his wins coming by knockout in the first minute.
However, in his debut, Hardy was set to fight an actual UFC-calibre heavyweight in Allen Crowder. It was an even fight for the first seven minutes of the fight. Then, Crowder started calling Hardy on for a brawl. Crowder then slipt and as he was on one knee, Hardy threw an illegal knee which practically knocked out Crowder. It wasn’t even close to being legal. Right away, ref Dan Miragliotta said if Crowder cannot continue he will disqualify Hardy. That is exactly what happened as Crowder couldn’t continue and Hardy was given his first professional loss by DQ.
“He was getting up, it was inexperience in mistiming it, man,” Hardy said post-fight. “But I (was) trying to time it like I had just watched Donald ‘Cowboy’ Cerrone do, like I saw everybody else do, and I thought it was the right thing to do at the time. And it was not. I messed up.”
Although he admits he messed up, Hardy doesn’t want to be known as a dirty fighter as he didn’t throw the knee on purpose.
“I was built to do this,” he said. “I was made to do this, man, and I let people down today, I let my gym down, I let my team down, and you know it? it sucks man. I didn’t want him to go out like that. That sucks for Allen Crowder man, for him to go out like that, no matter how he feels about me that’s not okay you know. I take full responsibility for this. It’s not something I’d do on purpose. Anybody that’s ever met me, or been around me, knows it’s not something I would do. I wish we could go back and go into the third round, man.”
No matter what people say, all Hardy knows is he has never cheated in anything and he surely won’t cheat in MMA.
“Show me one time I’ve ever cheated in my life,” Hardy said. “Show me one of their favorite quarterbacks in history that I ever cheated against. Go ask Tom Brady if I ever cheated when I sacked him. I’m not a cheater. That’s not on my record, that’s not on my resume. Thirty years of life. Not one time, not one time have you ever asked me questions and I lied to you. Not one time have I ever stood up here and you asked a question and I said ‘it wasn’t my fault.’ I was there. I did it. It was my responsibility. I’m a grown man. That’s my character.”