Dana White’s Contender series returned with a bang on Tuesday night as two big KO finishes send Greg Hardy and Alonzo Menifield into the UFC
10 fighters set their sights on impressing UFC President Dana White in the TUF gym in Las Vegas but only two were awarded contracts on the night.
Alonzo Menifield made quick work of DeShawn Boatwright with an 8 second TKO victory. After Boatwright threw a high left kick, Menifield managed to quickly step inside and land a looping overhand right that sent his opponent to the canvas and after 5 big unanswered shots, referee Mark Smith had no choice but to call a halt to the bout.
In the previous fight, Chris Curtis had an impressive outing as he scored a heel hook KO over Sean Lally early in round 3 but it didn’t appear to impress Dana White which left a lot of fans questioning as to why he didn’t even get a mention after the bouts came to a completion.
Interestingly enough, late on Wednesday evening, Curtis announced via his Facebook page that he broke his hand during his fight and announced his retirement from MMA.
A disappointing end to a career that could have had a lot of promise in the UFC.
In heavyweight action, Greg Hardy secured a big victory over Austen Lane with a big first round KO. Initially landing a right hook, Lane stumbled backwards and briefly ended up on the mat but with his defences gone and his head reeling, he ate a further left hook that sent him out and earned Hardy the victory and an eventual contract into the UFC.
Hardy’s entry into the UFC leaves a bit of a sour taste with many people given his domestic abuse case that paved the way for his exit from the NFL.
The narrative behind Hardy in the UFC is a strange one with commentator Brandon Fitzgerald essentially claiming that Hardy’s new path and his entry into mixed martial arts is an atonement for his previous misdemeanors which couldn’t be far from the truth.
In a combat sports setting, it’s hard to get behind somebody with that type of history.
There is no doubting that Hardy has got a good pedigree to become a successful MMA fighter but whether or not fans will actively tune in to watch him is another thing.
MMA is full of redemption stories but this feels more like glorification of a man who has a history of domestic physical abuse under the guise of glitz and glamour of the UFC brand.