That has been the other really interesting piece of Hardy’s transition to the UFC and the copious amounts of attention his fights have received — that the 30-year-old has maintained a low profile and gone about things in “the right way.”
You don’t see Hardy seated in the crowd at various UFC events. He’s not active on Twitter and only sporadically posts on Instagram, the vast majority of which is related to training or working on his craft.
While he’s confident in his abilities and speaks freely about the elite athleticism he brings to the cage, Hardy has also embedded himself with one of the best camps in the sport at American Top Team, where he’s quick to acknowledge that he gets schooled by the deep collection of veteran talents that pass through the South Florida all-star academy on a regular basis.
Adams Plans To Hand Hardy His First Real Defeat
The only time he really pops up in front of the camera or on a microphone is in the days leading up to his next fight, and while he has set some lofty goals for himself, it’s nothing different than what the vast majority of fighters says when asked the same questions.
“You’ve seen a lot of different courses of action being taken throughout history with different celebrities, so I wouldn’t say I have to take this course of action — I would say I chose this course of action because it is the best one,” said Hardy when asked about his low key approach. “Coming from football and understanding how that respect works, how we look at younger guys and people coming in, new guys, I felt like it was the appropriate course of action to get the respect and get the best job done, instead of making waves and playing this game that whatever his name does.”
“Whatever his name” is Adams, the man he’ll face on Saturday night in San Antonio, who has been chasing this opportunity since last summer when they were both added to the UFC roster.
Although Adams made his Octagon debut roughly a month before Hardy stepped into the cage for the first time, the former collegiate wrestler has been vocal about the frequent opportunities and prime fight card placement the heavyweight newcomer has received from the outset.
He’s publicly lobbied for the opportunity to share the cage with his fellow member of the Contender Series Class of 2018 and after suffering his first professional loss last time out, Adams’ request was granted.
But while this weekend’s encounter is clearly something personal for “The Kraken,” Hardy is approaching it as nothing more than another assignment handed down by the boss that he needs to handle.
“This is something I’ve been dealing with my whole life,” he said of people calling him out and making things personal. “People have been trying to get under my skin and play this game for a very long time and I just think people should really start to pay attention to the results.
“The fact of the matter is this is a guy that has been whining, crying about not getting fights in the UFC, not getting favoritism instead of doing what he’s supposed to do — working hard, keeping his mouth shut — so he said the wrong name, the boss said me and now he’s got to pay the price,” Hardy added. “There are repercussions and consequences for his actions and that’s all I see it as — the boss sent me, so it’s time to go handle business, shut this guy up and move on to the next guy.”
For Hardy, this whole transition to mixed martial arts has been a process — one he knew came with a series of hurdles he would need to overcome and plenty of critics and doubters who are eager to see him fail.
He knew all this and knows all this and continues to press forward, resolute in his belief that time and continued success will change things.
“The right things aren’t being highlighted, but that will come soon,” said Hardy. “For me, it’s keep showing up, keep entertaining, and keep getting wins.