Greg Hardy ‘devastated’ by UFC on ESPN+ 21 loss, but won’t offer excuses: ‘Not a single one’

If Greg Hardy wanted to list excuses for his defeat to Alexander Volkov, there were plenty of them.

A relative lack of experience, a short-notice call-up and a mid-fight injury that deprived him of the ability to throw his right hand were all contributing factors to his unanimous decision loss to the Russian heavyweight contender at UFC on ESPN+ 21 in Moscow. But he said he’s not going to use any of them to justify his defeat.

“Not a single one,” he told ESPN after the fight. “No excuses.”

Hardy (5-2 MMA, 2-2 UFC) went the distance with Volkov (31-7 MMA, 5-1 UFC), who admitted to fighting tactically to ensure his own victory against a raw but dangerous opponent. And while the deck may have been stacked against Hardy on fight night, his only disappointment was with his own performance.

“I fought a great opponent, and (I’m) clearly devastated by the decision,” he said. “I didn’t fight well enough, plain and simple. That’s the hardest thing to tell yourself after you go to war. I didn’t earn it today.

“I’m going to have to check out the film, see what I did wrong, analyze it professionally. But right now, the only thing that matters is the ‘W,’ and I didn’t leave with the ‘W,’ so that means there’s work to be done. I didn’t do exactly what I said I was going to do, and that makes me feel very bad.”

Hardy explained that his issue with his right hand came at the end of the first round, but he focused on adjusting his approach. And by the time he felt comfortable again, he faced an uphill struggle against a seasoned veteran.

“I kind of lost use of my right hand after the first, so my mind was just ‘get comfortable, man,’” he explained. “I kind of settled in front of him (and) wanted to close that distance a little bit more. I feel like I got back into the gameplan later in the fight, but you can’t fight Alexander Volkov and start in the middle of the second round, man.”

Despite his defeat, Hardy’s aspirations in the UFC heavyweight division remain sky-high. And while he admits he’s disappointed with how his night in Moscow panned out, he said he believes he belongs at the top level in the UFC, and plans on coming back better than ever for his next fight.

“I don’t think the bar is too high. I think it’s there,” he said. “The bar where I want to get to is astronomically high. It’s so far away from me now, I’m in tears on the inside, man.

“I have a lot to go and get, man, and I’m going to go and get it. I’m going to bleed, and I’m going to sweat until it’s done, and when I come back I will be the ‘King of War’. But right now, I’m humbly bowing down as the ‘Prince of War’ in defeat to one of the best in the game right now.”

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