BROOKLYN — Greg Hardy made his UFC debut on Saturday night at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn. It may have also marked his finale.
Hardy, the former NFL defensive lineman, was disqualified in the second round after kneeing Allen Crowder in the back of the head. The fight’s referee immediately stopped the action and shook his head in disbelief at the illegal and reckless move.
Hardy landed several powerful strikes in the first round, but it was clear the heavyweight didn’t anticipate the fight lasting long. He had finished all three of his previous pro MMA fights in the first round and looked absolutely gassed once the second began Saturday.
After Crowder landed several blows to begin the round, the tide seemed to be turning. Crowder looked invigorated and began to trash talk Hardy, matching blows and insults together for what proved to be a fruitful combo.
Shortly after the verbal barrage began, Hardy lost his cool, leading to a flustered attack and the illegal move under pressure.
Hardy apologized to Crowder in his post-fight press conference and said the dirty knee wasn't intentional.
"It's not something I did on purpose," he said.
Hardy received a handful of boos when he was introduced to the Brooklyn crowd on Saturday, but it was nothing compared to the boos that rained down after he left the Octagon following his DQ. The Barclays Crowd chanted "a--hole" in Hardy's direction after the fight was stopped.
Despite the hype around Hardy's Octagon debut, the UFC has come under scrutiny for signing him. In 2014, Hardy was found guilty of assaulting a woman and communicating threats. The Pro Bowler appealed the conviction and the charges were dismissed after the victim did not appear to testify.