Best and Worst from UFC Fight Night 143: Cejudo vs. Dillashaw
#1 Worst: Hardy’s illegal knee
Greg Hardy was already a controversial figure coming into his UFC debut thanks to a chequered past marred by serious accusations of domestic violence. The former NFL defensive end could’ve quieted that controversy with a big win last night over Allen Crowder, but instead, he’s walking away as an even more divisive figure. Simply put, he made one of the most questionable decisions inside the Octagon in some time.
Hardy started off strongly, stunning Crowder early on, but by the second round, it was quite clear that he’d run out of steam. Crowder was beginning to take over with his striking and even felt confident enough to taunt the big man. But when he shot in for a takedown, Hardy defended well – and then let his frustrations get the better of him by knocking Crowder silly with an illegal knee to the head.
Erroneous strikes happen in the UFC all the time, but this one, in all honesty, seemed malicious and thrown out of anger, given Hardy was losing to an opponent that was taunting him, all while the crowd were against him too. It reminded me of Michael Bisping’s equally head-scratching illegal knee against Jorge Rivera in 2011 more than anything else.
The fight was clearly ruled as a disqualification win for Crowder, and while Dana White has already suggested Hardy will be given a second chance in the UFC, you have to ask whether that’s the right call, given that he didn’t exactly look like a UFC-level fighter here and then used a nasty illegal strike to get himself out of a hole.