What’s the story?
The UFC is undeniably home to a host of supreme athletes. The ability of the competitors to brawl with such intensity for up to 25 minutes inside the cage is quite frankly incredible.
However, outspoken newcomer Greg Hardy has offered a different point of view on the athleticism of one of his heavyweight counterparts. During a recent appearance on The Slip 'n Dip Podcast, Hardy aired his opinions on the abilities of Francis Ngannou, claiming the Cameroonian is 'not an athlete'.
In case you didn’t know…
Hardy has been a controversial figure ever since he arrived on the scene in mixed martial arts. The former NFL defensive-end had previously been accused of serious domestic and physical abuse. Although Hardy was never actually convicted, these allegations led to him being removed from the NFL entirely.
Despite his chequered past, the 31-year-old has not exactly shied away from the spotlight since arriving in the UFC. He was infamously disqualified in his Octagon debut and regularly gets involved in trash talking other opponents.
The heart of the matter
Hardy recently appeared on The Slip 'n Dip Podcast, where he offered a scathing assessment of Ngannou's abilities.
“Francis Ngannou is a fighter that has athletic ability. He’s not an athlete. Just seeing what happened to Francis with Stipe was a warning, but from the beginning, I always told everybody I want to be a well-rounded fighter. I don’t want to focus on one thing and be one-dimensional. I want to be the man. And the only way you can do that is to take over.”
It really needs only one glance at Ngannou to see that Hardy is being harsh on the Cameroon-born superstar – he is clearly an athlete of the highest order.
Hardy seems to be referring specifically to Ngannou’s athletic performance during his fight with Stipe Miocic at UFC 220, where Ngannou struggled to keep up with the relentless cardio of the American.
It is possible that the ever-confident Hardy is using Ngannou to get himself onto the radar of some of the top names in the heavyweight division.
Neither Ngannou nor Hardy have a fight coming up, although it seems entirely unlikely that the UFC would book the unranked American to fight the number 2-ranked heavyweight contender any time soon.
Hardy will likely continue to call out the top names in the division as his career builds, however, a few more fights against lower-level opposition will surely be in the pipeline for the former NFL player before he can realistically look to crack the top 10.Published 01 Aug 2019, 15:40 IST