Either way, Crowder plans to send his own message by delivering a beatdown to the former NFL standout turned MMA fighter.
“I seen him gassing out and me finishing him with elbows,” Crowder on Wednesday told MMAjunkie.
Crowder (9-3 MMA, 0-1 UFC) said his fight with Hardy (3-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) isn’t official just yet. Crowder said he verbally agreed to it Tuesday night after UFC President Dana White already had informed ESPN.com.
Despite his personal feelings about Hardy, Crowder wants to fight him in Brooklyn on Jan. 19 for UFC on ESPN+ 1, the UFC’s first event on the network after signing a long-term TV deal. After having a baby in September and opening a gym in November, Crowder needs the work.
“It’s working out good for me,” Crowder said. “I need this fight, and I really want to fight in Brooklyn. I wouldn’t change the card. I’d love to give the ass-whooping he’s about to get.”
Still, the up-and-coming heavyweight acknowledges the optics of the bout look terrible. He’s aware of Hardy’s past with domestic violence and criticized the promotion for putting the matchup on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, who recently suffered a fractured orbital in an alleged assault by her husband. Ostovich is set to meet Paige VanZant at UFC on ESPN+ 1.
“The UFC, they’re all about making that money, and I highly doubt whoever done this thought about her,” Crowder said. “There is a chance they didn’t think about her, and that’s just totally wrong, especially after what she just went through.
“Really, it’s up to me to put a stop to what they’re trying to do and set a good example and show you’re not supposed to beat women, and give him a good lesson learned.”
Hardy’s inclusion on the Jan. 19 card has already created a firestorm of media attention. The UFC has yet to comment publicly on the booking, and multiple requests for comment to ESPN have not been returned as of this writing.
UFC President Dana White has defended Hardy in previous interviews, saying the newcomer has “paid his dues” and “done all the right things” to rebuild his life while carrying the stigma of domestic abuse.
Hardy has urged MMA fans to get to know him before making judgments and vowed to continue his career.
Crowder, though, already made up his mind.
“You’re a professional athlete, and you’re setting a bad example for kids and everyone else who looks up to you,” he said.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Allen Crowder wonders if UFC considered Rachael Ostovich timing in Greg Hardy debut plans