Greg Hardy is returning to the Octagon at UFC Fort Lauderdale where he will face Dmitrii Smoliakov in Florida.
In his short stint in mixed martial arts, Greg Hardy has been a lightning rod of controversy. The UFC has elected to remain in the business of booking Hardy in his new career, and that trend continues as the news broke on Monday pertaining to his next appearance in the Octagon. According to a report from ESPN, Hardy is set to come back to the cage in April, at UFC Fort Lauderdale.
According to Ariel Helwani of ESPN, Hardy is scheduled to face off against Dmitrii Smoliakov at the event set for Sunrise, Florida.
Hardy will not need much of an introduction. The former NFL standout lineman was jettisoned from the league after being found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend. Hardy appealed the conviction and the case was eventually dismissed when the victim did not appear in front of the court. That situation has led to him being a highly controversial figure as he moved into mixed martial arts and eventually joined the UFC through Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Hardy has a 3-1 record which includes his official debut for the promotion back at UFC Fight Night Brooklyn where he was disqualified after kneeing Allen Crowder while he was down.
“I was aware of the rule as it stands, but I was not aware that was what was going on,” Hardy said after the debacle. “For that to end my day is a hard pill to swallow. I wanted to show people that I’m here to do it the right way and this is not who I am.”
Smoliakov is making his return to the Octagon after an 0-2 stint from 2016 to 2017. During that run he was stopped twice, once via submission and the other via technical knockout. He is looking to build upon a win streak as he recently won at an Asian Challenge event where he defeated Evgeniy Bova by kimura. Smoliakov will bring a 9-2 professional record into the Octagon.
Yoel Romero vs. Paulo Costa is the scheduled main event of the night. Former champions Carla Esparza and Andrei Arlovski are also scheduled for the card.