The heavyweight prospect who meets the former NFL player this weekend at UFC Fight Night in San Antonio has been rather vocal in his disdain for Hardy after they both joined the promotion around the same time.
In fact, Adams started his own hash tag on Twitter — #f—kGregHardy — that he has constantly used ever since the controversial ex-football player was signed to the UFC from Dana White’s Contender Series.
Adams has several issues with Hardy but the one at the top of his list is the journey his upcoming opponent had to travel before landing in the UFC. Adams is careful not to say ‘earned’ his way to the UFC because he just doesn’t believe Hardy actually deserved to be signed to the roster but got by on his name and potential drawing power.
“My issue with him is when he first started MMA, a lot of people were drawing comparisons between him and I and it pissed me off,” Adams told MMA Fighting. “Because they’re talking about ‘he knocked this guy out and knocked that guy out’ but you look at who he was fighting, this was when we were still amateurs, and his first opponent was like 44 years old. They say it was an amateur fight. They still had shin guards on. That’s not a real fight in my opinion. His next opponent was another 40 year old dude and then some 37 year old guy and it’s one thing fighting those guys in the UFC or as a pro, but these guys are still amateurs. That tells you all you need to know about their skill level.
“For me to be compared to that guy while I’m facing [opponents] who are much younger or in my opinion much better, that rubbed me the wrong way.”
Adams’ road to the UFC didn’t get any less arduous once he turned pro because he was still facing top notch competition on the regional fight scene before he got the chance to compete on the Contender Series last year.
Meanwhile, Hardy made his professional debut on the same Contender Series and after three fights total, he was inked to a contract with the UFC.
“I had to go through a long process before getting to the UFC. I was always going up in competition while his competition steadily got worse since his Contender Series fights,” Adams said. “He gets to the UFC and the combined record of his opponents was 0-3 in the UFC. Where as I get guys like Chris De La Rocha, who was 1-2 in the UFC and then Arjan Bhullar, who was 2-1 in the UFC but now 9-1 overall. He’s getting these guys that aren’t that great. The last guy he fought was a complete bum.
“The UFC, his management, they want to call it building a star, it rubs me the wrong way that’s what they want to put stock in. I think it’s bad business and I didn’t agree with it.”
The other problem Adams has with Hardy is a concern that has been raised numerous times since he first landed on the UFC’s radar.
In 2014, Hardy was arrested and charged with assault after he allegedly attacked his ex-girlfriend by grabbing her, strangling her, throwing her into furniture and threatening to kill her. A judge found Hardy guilty but upon appeal his conviction was overturned when the victim failed to appear in court to testify.
Regardless of the verdict, Adams doesn’t believe Hardy has done much of anything to exonerate himself in the public eye, especially after such a particularly brutal allegation of domestic violence.
“Technically he wasn’t convicted of it, technically he’s innocent. Fine, whatever, but whenever you have that kind of smear on your name, there’s so much stuff that you can do to show that you’re not that type of person anymore and he hasn’t done any of that,” Adams said. “He’s saying things but he’s not walking that line. He’s not walking the walk. He’s just ignoring it and hoping everyone forgets it. That’s not the case.
“There’s so much you could do. You could donate to a women’s rights campaign, you could donate to a women’s shelter, you could volunteer your time. At least put on an appearance that you care but you haven’t done that. I just think it speaks volumes about his character and the type of man he is.”
At the end of the day, Adams knows this is a fight and Hardy is still a heavyweight with knockout punching power. That said, the 27-year old prospect from Texas doesn’t see anything close to an elite fighter when looking at Hardy, which is the type of athlete the UFC should be signing and promoting in his opinion.
It’s part of the reason why Adams compares Hardy to a former WWE superstar who tried his hand at fighting in the UFC not that long ago before he got bounced out following two very lopsided losses.
“That’s my plan to expose him,” Adams said. “I want to do what Mike “The Truth” Jackson did to CM Punk. That’s what I want to do. I want to make it very clear that he doesn’t belong here.
“He’s not on this level and he does not deserve the push that he’s gotten.”