A Red Headed Stepchild’s Wish For Greg Hardy To Be Tested By Another UFC Legend
After knocking out Maurice Greene (9-6) in exciting fashion at UFC Vegas 12, Greg Hardy (7-2-1) has truly shown us something. With Din Thomas as his Coach these days, “Prince Of War” has developed a reputation as a Dana White Contender Series slayer. DQ knees and inhaler controversies aside, Hardy has proven able to dispatch with that level of opposition. So what’s next? I would certainly agree with pumpin’ the brakes on another Alexander Volkov level outing.
However, I would still say in that same breath that Hardy is ready for a name. Dare I say a pretty big one! How about the seven foot tall Dutch UFC legend Stefan Struve?!
From a matchmaking perspective, the fight would be good for both fighters at this point in their careers and both would have something to gain. “Skyscraper” Stefan Struve (29-13), coming off a two fight losing streak, nonetheless has what it takes to give Greg Hardy pause in the Octagon should they ever meet.
What makes this potential fight interesting is for the first time in his career, Hardy will be outsized by more than half a foot and he will have a four and a half inch reach disadvantage. Hardy is rarely outmatched physically, so Struve’s imposing figure would prove a highly anticipated challenge.
Thinking about this matchup raises a key question. Can Greg Hardy hang with a lethal Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Brown Belt known for getting eighteen of his twenty nine wins by submission? “Prince Of War” had his first taste of the deep end when he came in as a replacement for Junior Dos Santos to fight Alexander Volkov (32-8) at UFC Fight Night: Moscow back in 2019. There were two takedown attempts in the three rounds, both coming from Hardy.
To me, this indicated that he may not be as one dimensional as one might think. My takeaway? Despite Hardy ultimately losing a decision to a crafty, careful veteran, Hardy showed that he could work through adversity. Hardy had broken his hand at some point in the first round and still earned Volkov’s respect power-wise with leaping left hooks and a very spirited spinning back fist attempt.
Meanwhile, Stefan Struve is coming off a two fight losing streak. After getting knocked out by Tai Tuivasa (10-3) and Ben Rothwell (38-13), a bout with a less experienced Greg Hardy could be what it takes to snap the skid for “Skyscraper”. Struve first entered the Octagon at UFC 95 and soon developed a reputation for being a towering, long limbed Heavyweight with flashes of brilliance inside the cage. It’s undeniable that Struve, at times, has that “win two, lose two” journeyman vibe but let’s not forget he knocked out current champ Stipe Miocic when they met!
Need more names? How about PRIDE and UFC legend Big Nog?! Bigfoot Silva?! How about that majority decision victory over Paul Buentello?! Okay, just kidding about that last one! Just had to make sure you were paying attention. A win over Greg Hardy would put an end to a veteran’s losing streak and ensure Struve’s relevance as a contender in 2021.
Greg Hardy has just as much to gain from fighting Stefan Struve. Struve’s vast grappling advantage is offset somewhat by the fact that he doesn’t exactly have a cast iron skillet for a chin. Greg Hardy hits like freakin’ Ultron! Could be a big threat for “Skyscraper”. Here’s another observation. Both Hardy and Struve have losses to Alexander Volkov. Volkov finished Struve with punches in Round 3. Even with a broken hand, Hardy was able to take Volkov the distance. A win over Struve would give Hardy momentum to fight another big name and possibly get just outside the Top 15.
So there, Sean Shelby. If you’re looking for a Heavyweight matchup that would have decent stakes and Fight Night Co-Main Event appeal, look no further than Greg Hardy vs Stefan Struve. No matter what these Octagon warriors do next, one thing is for damn sure! I’ll be watching it! Be sure to check out UFC Vegas 14 on November 14! Great cards this weekend, guys!