Greg Hardy will make his UFC debut when he takes on Allen Crowder in a heavyweight bout at UFC Fight Night 143 in Brooklyn on Saturday.
Hardy vs Crowder will be the second-to-last fight on the main card, which is scheduled to start at 10 p.m. ET. While it won’t be on regular cable TV or PPV in the US, you can still watch a live stream of Hardy vs Crowder and the entire main card on your computer, phone, or streaming device via ESPN+, the new digital streaming service from ESPN (no cable required) that has a massive UFC on-demand library in addition to exclusive coverage of live UFC events.
You can sign up for a free seven-day trial of ESPN+ right here, and you can then watch a live stream of the Cejudo vs Dillashaw main card on your computer via ESPN.com, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, or other compatible streaming device via the ESPN app.
Hardy vs Crowder Preview
Hardy, 30, is 3-0 in his young MMA career, having knocked out each of his opponents in the first round.
NFL teams shunned the former Pro Bowler in the wake of a 2014 domestic violence arrest. A judge found him guilty of assault and communicating threats, but the charges were dropped when Hardy appealed and the alleged victim failed to appear in court.
Hardy played the first week of the 2014 season before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list, where he’d remain for the year. After Carolina let Hardy walk, the Cowboys agreed to a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the defensive end in March 2015.
A month later, the league determined Hardy had physically beaten the alleged victim, suspending him for 10 games. Three months after that, the league reduced the penalty to four games.
He hasn’t attracted interest from NFL teams since the 2015 season, and not because of his play on the field — he recorded six sacks in 12 games that year. He continues to dodge responsibility for the alleged victim’s injuries, pictures of which were published by Deadspin in 2015.
“Pictures are pictures and they can be made to look like whatever they want to, but I will stop you there and say I didn’t do anything wrong,” Hardy said in a recent interview with ESPN. “That situation occurred and that situation was handled, but as a man, you can’t avoid situations that aren’t your fault or that are your fault. I feel that saying that I did nothing wrong is a stretch, but saying that I am innocent is correct, yes sir.”
The interviewer asked, “Did you ever put your hands on her?”
“No, sir,” Hardy replied.
In 2014, UFC president Dana White seemed to indicate there wouldn’t be room for someone with Hardy’s history on a UFC card.
“We’ve been human beings in letting these guys, other guys make up for what they’ve done and come back,” White said, according to MMA Fighting. “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. You don’t bounce back from putting your hands on a woman.”
White’s since changed his tune.
“He’s gonna be tied to [the domestic violence allegations] for the rest of his career, the rest of his life,” White said of Hardy in December, according to The Washington Post. “This is a guy who’s spent the last five years rehabilitating himself from drugs, alcohol, anger management, you name it. Rebuilding his life. He hit rock bottom, he lost his job. He’s building a family now; he has a son and a daughter. He’s trying to put that behind him.”
Crowder (9-3 overall, 0-1 in the UFC) is relishing the chance to defeat the promotion’s newest villain.
“I’d love to give the ass-whooping he’s about to get,” the 29-year-old said in December, according to MMAjunkie.
Crowder even offered a prediction: “I seen him gassing out and me finishing him with elbows.”
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