Juan Adams has been hearing that he should fight Greg Hardy since his MMA career began. Now the heavyweights will clash at UFC Fight Night San Antonio on July 20.
There are many reasons to want an opponent, from a step up in ranking to a clash of styles. But when it comes to stepping into the Octagon with Hardy, it’s quite simple for Adams.
“I don’t like him,” Adams told the TSN MMA Show. “The whole domestic violence thing, that’s part of it, but I just don’t think he’s a good human being. Even if that stuff is or isn’t true, how dumb do you have to be to not even make an attempt to make amends? That falls on his management, that falls on him and that falls on the UFC.”
Adams believes that Hardy hasn't operated like a man who has been afforded a second chance.
“If I was Greg Hardy and I had that type of heat on me, best believe, even if it was just for an hour a week, go volunteer at a women’s shelter," Adams said. "His last NFL contract was like $14 million? Make a donation to a women’s charity or a women’s home. He’s done none of that. On top of that, he’s talking like he’s changed and I really don’t think he has. He’s been given so many opportunities in life and he’s squandered so many of them.”
Hardy has also likened himself as possibly being the “Michael Jordan” of MMA, a thought that Adams finds laughable.
“That’s idiotic on so many levels,” said Adams. “Maybe if he’s referring to Michael Jordan’s baseball career, yeah, then I think that’s a great comparison, but after five fights, to call yourself the greatest of all-time, I think that’s extremely arrogant.”
Adams will enter the fight on the heels of his first professional loss, a unanimous decision defeat to Canadian Arjan Bhullar at UFC Fight Night Ottawa, earlier in May. The 27-year-old believes the setback in Ottawa actually helped him land this fight against the former NFLer, a fight he did not hesitate to accept.
“He doesn’t like to fight winners obviously; he only likes going into fights that he thinks he can clearly win,” said Adams. “They sent (the fight agreement) at 11:47 and it was sent back and signed six minutes later. I’m ready to go.”
The hallmark of Hardy’s skill set is his punching power. His four professional MMA victories have all ended the exact same way, first round (T)KO, with his opponent either completely overwhelmed or unconscious on the mat.
Adams is not planning to take a backwards step from the power or the challenge.
“I’m willing to engage; I’ve never shied away from a hit and I’ve never been dropped,” said Adams. “It looks like Hardy hits hard, but you have to take into account that he’s fighting bums and people that are afraid of him. The one guy that wasn’t afraid of him, you saw what happened - Hardy got frustrated and couldn’t knock him out. Dude walked at him with his hands down. If you’re fighting a 44-year-old amateur, it shouldn’t be too hard to knock him out.”
The Houston native sees himself as a massive step up in class for Hardy, even if fans of his opponent will think he’s another stepping-stone fighter.
“A lot of casual fans are going to see my record and see my opponents and think that I’m not very good and that’s fine you can think that, but the combined record of my opponents is much better than the combined record of his," Adams said.
Both of Hardy’s UFC fights have been in the co-main event slot, but Adams hopes this fight finds a more appropriate place, earlier on the card.
“There are fighters on this card that have done so much more in the sport than either of us,” said Adams. “There are going to be some amazing fights on this card.”