Greg Hardy can’t seem to get out of his own way, as the aspiring UFC heavyweight contender saw his unanimous decision win over Ben Sosoli last night (Fri., Oct. 18, 2019) at UFC on ESPN 6 from Boston, Mass., overturned to a no contest after puffing on an inhaler before the start of the third round.
Hardy, who if you remember lost his Octagon debut for landing an illegal knee, believed he had taken the proper precautions to make United State Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) aware of his inhaler, but that didn’t seem to be the case after the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission’s ruling came through.
“(I’m) super sad,” Hardy said during UFC Boston’s post-fight press conference (replay HERE). “It’s a ventolin albuterol inhaler for exercise-induced asthma. I used it my whole life. I sign the commission paperwork when I weighed in. It’s on the USADA paperwork when I take every single drug test so that y’all know that I’m not taking steroids. I’m just naturally a monster.”
UFC president Dana White, who believed USADA had approved the inhaler (per Yahoo! Sports’ Kevin Iole), discussed the situation after the fight as well. White ultimately put the blame on Hardy’s corner for not stopping the heavyweight from using it inside of the cage.
“I think if you watch it you can understand how it happened,” White said. “But he asked the guy, and the guy said, ‘Is it medically approved?’ And he said, ‘It’s USADA approved.’ Because he put it down on his sheet that he was using an inhaler, and they knew he used an inhaler. So it’s crazy.
“I don’t even know what to say. First of all: Din Thomas … come on, Din. You’ve been in this game forever. His corner, they’ve got to know you can’t use an inhaler in the corner. They should know that. Shouldn’t even be a question. You can drink water. It’s pretty simple. Gatorade in some states.”
Hardy, who has been trying to recreate himself as a mixed martial artist after a career in professional football, can’t seem to catch a break inside of the Octagon. The powerful heavyweight is obviously doing these things to himself it’s just a shame we can’t get a clear-cut win from Hardy over a quality opponent.
“The worst part is, here I am letting people down again,” Hardy said. “It’s a sucky feeling. All I’m trying to do is – we had a conversation before the fight, I’m doing everything I’m supposed to be doing. I asked permission, they told me I could, and I’m in trouble again. My mind’s on just make sure everyone is happy, making sure everything is cool because it’s a crappy feeling. Everything is about my inhaler instead of me watching a sweet (Chris) Weidman knockout from my boy (Dominick Reyes). Same as any other situation: I’m worried about my team.
“I just fought more time than I’ve ever fought in my whole entire career, and we’re sitting here talking about an inhaler that I’ve used my whole entire life. That’s a crappy feeling, dude. I never want to take away from the UFC brand. I never want to take away from anybody, and I feel like that’s what’s happening, and I’m not OK with that.”
Outside of the illegal use of the inhaler, Hardy did showcase an approved arsenal against a very game Sosoli. The controversial heavyweight fighter will continue to train and get better as the promotion keeps him in front of the public audience. After all, Hardy has gotten over much worse throughout his athletic career than a quick hit from an inhaler.
For complete UFC Boston results and coverage click here.