It looks like Greg Hardy will be taking a massive step up in competition.
Just a few hours after Junior dos Santos withdrew from his fight against Alexander Volkov it was announced that Greg Hardy would be replacing the injured Brazilian. dos Santos had to pull out of the fight after being hospitalised with a serious bacterial infection as reported by MMA Fighting.
Hardy has faced a lot of critiscism for the level of opposition he has faced so far in his UFC career but that is all about to change but, speaking to TMZ, Hardy said he is very excited about the short notice fight.
“I’m excited. There were a lot of things that played into this decision and the big one was just the opportunity. This is a big-time fight; this is high level competition. This is what any Prince of War or future King of War could ever hope for. And second of all, just somebody fell down. My teammate went down, so somebody’s got to fill in. The next man up had got to fill in and that’s just always been my mentality, to hold it down for the team. The UFC always has my back, they took a gamble on me, they let me in door so if they need somebody to fill in, for sure I’m about to go knock the guy out.”
Talking more on his upcoming opponent, Hardy used the opportunity to take shots at fellow heavyweight rival Derrick Lewis.
“Soft Derrick Lewis knocked this dude out. If pillow hands Lewis can do it for sure I feel like I can go in there and compete and knock this guy out; and he’s a monster too.”
There’s no denying that the level of competition Hardy has faced in his first four UFC fights have been a lower level. This poses the question as to whether Hardy is ready to face a top ten fighter who has beaten a former world champion; Hardy believes so.
“Yeah (I feel ready) and the big thing for me, if everybody looks back and remembers, I was going with my team. I was going with my gym; I was going with everybody’s decision making and these same guys believe in me. Once I got their belief it’s just like “hey, let’s go”. After this Ben Sosoli guy, he’s supposed to be the huge tough guy that he was, now everybody’s like “oh, he’s a can, give him some competition”. It’s time, you know, it’s time to make a statement, it’s time to step up and put my metal to the test, as the Prince of War. Stop talking, put the hands up and fight with an actual monster, you know, fight with a top ranked, elite assassin.”
Hardy will be going to Volkov’s territory in Moscow, Russia and looking to pull of a massive upset win in the co-main event. This fight will likely show what level of fighter Greg Hardy really is and whether or not he is at the level of the top ranked fighters.