Barry Laminack: Greg Hardy signing is a bad look for the UFC
Word came out yesterday that the UFC has signed Greg Hardy to a developmental contract (meaning he’ll fight on lower promotions but the UFC will retain the rights to “call him up” when they want). Hardy looked good on the contender series, knocking out Austen Lane in 57 seconds.
By the by, if you haven't seen the video it's absolutely hilarious to watch Dana White and match maker Mick Maynard’s faces when Hardy scores his knockout. They look like they actually enjoy watching fighting, which is refreshing to see.
What’s not refreshing is inking Greg Hardy to a deal.
Look, I know that the UFC is always looking for different angles for promotion. You need look no further than UFC 225 and CM Punk vs Mike Jackson ON PAY-PER-VIEW. So it's not like the UFC isn't willing to try putting people on who are definitely going to sell pay-per-views. Remember they also put James Toney in the ring with Randy Couture...smh.
I think Greg Hardy is a huge mistake for the organization. On my show (The Usual Suspects - airs M-F 1-4pm on ESPN 97.5) my producer Nick Sharara reminded me that Dana White at one point said, “There’s one thing that you never bounce back from and that’s putting your hands on a woman. Been that way in the UFC since we started here.”
Of course Dana White also said he would never let women fight in the UFC, so there’s that.
Greg Hardy was convicted of spousal abuse but that conviction was later expunged when the victim failed to appear in court for a jury trial during his appeal. Still, I’m a “where there’s smoke there’s fire” kind of guy, so this is still a terrible look for the UFC, but the UFC apparently doesn't care as much about that and feels like it would be good to get in bed with Hardy.
MMA already has the reputation of being a meathead sport, and Greg Hardy in the mix doesn't help that reputation. it also doesn't reflect well on the organization itself for being complicit and giving him opportunities to continue his sports career.
Besides, there are a TON of prospects that deserve a shot at a UFC contract, the UFC doesn’t NEED Greg Hardy.
It’s just a bad look all around, but then again, we know White doesn’t give a sh-- what anyone thinks.