Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series featured neophyte fighters hoping to allure a space in the list of UFC bruisers.
The Greg Hardy vs. Austen Lane main card knocked the viewers out of their seats as Hardy, one of the football-players-turned-heavyweight-MMA-fighters, knocked his contender down with a pair of straight punches.
This phenomenal heavyweight fight between two former NFL stars inevitably ended huge.
Of the two previous big names in football, Hardy had a more abundant career, getting a chance to play in the 2013 Pro Bowl. Despite this, Hardy’s sports race was smudged with his widely talked-about criminal record of assaulting a female and sending her threats in 2014.
Lane, on the other hand, had a more silent NFL journey.
Despite this, his MMA experience is voluminous, entering the fight with a combined amateur/professional career of 10 wins and 0 losses.
Whereas, Hardy entered the bout cage against the experienced fighter for his first pro battle. He only triumphed three amateur bouts.
It didn’t seem as that though.
The disfavour on Hardy’s end manifested the exact opposite; his power made him a huge prospect at heavyweight.
Both fighters bored the audience a little at first for merely acquainting their fists. Advancing in the game, Hardy gave his hyper-aggressive strikes, pressuring Lane against the cage.
Lane dared to liquidate the pressure by sending a pair of straight punches which Hardy countered with a left blow that left him stumbling on his feet.
Never giving his combatant a chance to retaliate, Hardy immediately followed it with a second left which flatlined Lane.
Hardy vanquished his professional debut with a KO in just 57 seconds.
Despite his grand slam, Hardy had to endure adverse criticisms over his former case of domestic assault.
‘The Black Beast’ Derrick Lewis didn’t fail to note his observation of the winning fighter; considering Hardy’s past more than his current victory:
He’s a wife beater. I’d like to get in there with him. I like knocking these wife beaters out. Yeah, I’ll fight Greg Hardy. It’d be like vice versa of him beating all the women; I’ll be beating him like he’s a woman.
This strikes hard on White as well:
Dana White in 2014: “There’s one thing that you never bounce back from, and that’s putting your hands on a woman.” Dana White right about now: “I didn’t mean that, Greg Hardy. Welcome to the UFC.”
— Jeff Wagenheim (@jeffwagenheim) 13 June 2018