UFC heavyweight Juan Adams has been one of the most outspoken critics of Greg Hardy since the beleaguered former NFL star joined the organization.
Adams finally got the chance to back up his trash talk when he fought Hardy on Saturday on the main card of UFC on ESPN 4 in San Antonio.
That’s when the plan fell apart.
Hardy stuffed a takedown attempt in the opening seconds and landed 30 straight right hands as Adams clung to his leg before the fight was stopped at 45 seconds of the first round.
“I stuffed the takedown and he shelled up, so I aimed for the temple and jaw,” Hardy said. “I felt him go limp, so I eased up and tried to shake him off, and that’s when (the referee) called it.”
Hardy went 3-0 as an amateur after he formally began his MMA career in November 2017. He had three wins as a pro and made his UFC debut in January but lost by disqualification.
Now, Hardy has won two straight in the UFC and has his eyes set on the top of the rankings. The 30-year-old former pass-rushing specialist for Dallas and Carolina said before the fight he would take some time to assess his next step after a busy 20 months, but appears ready to push forward after the quick win.
“The cheers, the boos,” Hardy said. “I just love it all so much, I’ll come back tomorrow.”
There were far more boos than cheers for Hardy, who had high-profile drug and domestic violence arrests during his football career.
Adams didn’t shy away from talking about the transgressions and expressed frustration at being unable to take vengeance as he stormed out of the cage and threw his mouthpiece into the crowd.
“Everybody wants to get me on the ground,” Hardy said after his second straight first-round knockout victory. “I want everyone to know, calling me out comes with consequences. Taking me down comes with consequences.
“There are consequences to these actions, and I’m the principal, I deliver the consequences. Juan was the people’s hero, and you see what happened to their hero. Quit saying my name or I’m going to show up.”
It took heavyweight contender Walt Harris even less time to claim his third straight victory, as he knocked out Aleksei Oleinki in 12 seconds when he followed a flying knee with a left hand.
In the main event, welterweight Leon Edwards outlasted former lightweight champion Rafael dos Anjos to win a unanimous decision.
It was the eighth straight win for Edwards, a 27-year-old Jamaica native, since a decision loss to current champ Kamaru Usman in 2015.
The first nine fights went to a decision, a first for a UFC event.
Former heavyweight champion Andrei Arlovski won all three rounds over Ben Rothwell, and Alexander Hernandez got back in the win column after his first UFC loss with a decision over Francisco Trinaldo.
Las Vegan Roxanne Modafferi dropped all three rounds against Jennifer Maia, who missed weight for their women’s flyweight bout by 3 pounds.
Alex Caceres, Raquel Pennington, Klidson Abreu, Ray Borg, Mario Bautista and Felipe Colares picked up wins.