Greg Hardy UFC
ORCHARD PARK, NY - DECEMBER 27: Greg Hardy #76 of the Dallas Cowboys warms up before the game against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium on December 27, 2015 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

This past weekend, former NFL player Greg Hardy got a co-main event slot at UFC on ESPN+8. It was only his second fight in the UFC proper (not counting his Tuesday Night Contender Series appearances). It was also only his fifth pro MMA bout ever.

This is… somewhat unusual. Because most fighters–even those with backgrounds in other sports–are usually required to get more experience before they even come close to the Octagon. What makes the whole equation even more curious is Hardy’s domestic violence issues. You know, mainly because he has them in his past.

Well, the salary information for this past weekend’s fighters was released by the Florida commission, and guess how much Hardy made? Here’s MMAFighting:

Former NFL All-Pro Greg Hardy cashed a six-figure payday for his first Octagon win at UFC Fort Lauderdale.

The Florida State Boxing Commission released the event’s finalized salary information on Tuesday to MMA Fighting.

Hardy, a controversial former defensive end for the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, scored a first-round knockout over Dmitrii Smoliakov in the night’s co-main event. The 30-year-old heavyweight prospect earned a $150,000 purse for his first UFC victory, while Smoliakov earned just $10,000 in defeat.

That’s a heck of a lot of cheddar for a dude who suffered a loss via disqualification in his first real UFC fight back in January.

So what’s the deal? Obviously, the UFC is pretty good at not over-paying fighters. They’re also really good at gauging likely returns on investments (i.e., how much a fighter will make them in terms of moving the needle). Therefore, it’s probably safe to assume that the UFC is paying the controversial (and not entirely capable) Hardy a lot of money because… they believe his controversy will garner eyeballs.

Sadly, there’s no way to determine if this theory is true. But I bet it is. Either way, we’ll have to wait and see if Hardy flames-out before he can headline a pay-per-view.

Mentioned in this article:

More About: