On Tuesday Hardy (1-0) took one step closer to a possible UFC debut after a scoring a brutal 57-knockout win at Dana White’s Contender Series 9. It’ll be the start of a sort of UFC development deal for Hardy, according to White (watch Hardy’s post-fight interview above).
The former NFL All-Pro defensive end had a 2014 domestic violence arrest and conviction that was subsequently overturned on appeal when the victim couldn’t be located to testify, and a subsequent arrest for cocaine possession all but shut the door on a possible return to pro football.
So, the 29-year-old has turned his attention to MMA, where he went 3-0 (with three first-round knockouts) as an amateur before Tuesday’s successful pro debut against Austen Lane. However, Hardy’s latest bout again put the spotlight on Hardy’s past and whether he should even be given a platform with the UFC.
Count Lewis (19-5 MMA, 10-2 UFC), a top contender who’s No. 12 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA heavyweight rankings, among those who believe the UFC should distance itself from Hardy.
He stated his case on “UFC Tonight” on Wednesday (via Twitter):
“I think he looked good, but as soon as the fight ended, I started thinking about his (ex-girlfriend),” Lewis said. “I was like, I wonder if he had hit her like that.
“I don’t know, man. I really don’t like guys like that because I grew up with a troubled past, and I saw my stepdad fight my mom just about every single day. I don’t even remember one day they didn’t go without arguing or fighting.”
Would Lewis fight Hardy if and when he is UFC-ready? Of course, Lewis said. He pointed to his recent fight (and win) over Travis Browne as an example.
“Of course, you know, I love fighting guys like that,” Lewis said. “I’m more motivated fighting guys like that. I was more motivated to fight Travis Browne whenever I did. So, I would like that matchup.”
Lewis next meets fellow contender Francis Ngannou (11-2 MMA, 6-1 UFC) at the UFC 226 pay-per-view event, which takes place July 7 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: UFC heavyweight Derrick Lewis on Greg Hardy: 'I really don't like guys like that'