Two Contenders Series veterans that took different paths to get there and to the octagon are going to face off in Columbus, Ohio on March 28th inside the octagon.
Former NFL defensive end Greg “The Prince of War” Hardy takes on Yorgan De Castro in what should be a very interesting clash of true heavyweights who are looking to climb the rankings of the heavyweight division, which seems to be the easiest, for lack of a better term to get an opportunity to fight for championship gold.
Hardy (5-2-1) made his way to the octagon on The Contender Series. After making 5 appearances inside the octagon in 2019 going 2-2-1, Hardy will be looking to rebound from his last 2 fights where he ended up with a victory that was changed to a no-contest because he used an inhaler between rounds, and a loss in November against Alexander Volkov, a fight he took on very short notice.
De Castro like Hardy earned his way to the octagon via The Contender Series. A big athletic heavyweight with devastating leg kicks and powerful striking as well as a ground game that should not be taken lightly is looking to stay undefeated (6-0) earning his 6th professional victory in his Octagon debut with a stellar first-round knockout of Justin Tafa this past October.
While the MMA resume of Hardy isn’t stellar by any stretch of the imagination, he is one of the most sought after fights by other up-and-coming heavyweights and even some veterans based on his name recognition alone. However, unlike another crossover athlete CM Punk, Hardy can scrap and will knock you out if you give him the opportunity. For De Castro, a win over Hardy will certainly elevate his status amongst the other heavyweights on the roster and give him some pop with the #HardyHaters.
Hardy with a victory against a legitimate and credible opponent like De Castro will be able to bag a big name for his next fight, as the UFC certainly wants to push him, as evidenced by booking him 5 times last year and already having him in a fight in March
Legitimate heavyweights like these 2 men can end a fight with one punch. However, don’t be surprised if we see this fight go to the ground. De Castro is a legit grappler and can fight wherever Hardy wants to go. While Hardy who hasn’t been at this as long, trains at American Top Team in Coconut Creek and gets worked over by some of the best grapplers on the planet on a daily basis and will certainly be able to hold his own on the ground.
UFC on ESPN 8 takes place on March 28 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio and will be available to view across the ESPN family of networks.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.