Friday night, UFC fighter Greg Hardy registered a unanimous decision victory over opponent Ben Sosoli. However, the victory was later overturned to a no-contest due to Hardy using an inhaler prior to the final round of the fight. Hardy believed he had taken the proper precautions by informing the United States Anti-Doping Agency about the inhaler, but the move was still illegal inside the octagon.
Hardy entered the fight with a 5-1-0 record in his professional MMA career. The one loss was due to a disqualification for an illegal knee in his UFC debut. This was the second time that Hardy has hurt himself inside the octagon when he had a distinct advantage.
According to Yahoo Sports, Hardy did notify the USADA of his inhaler, as well as the doctors at his pre-fight physical on Thursday. Although this still does not clear the way for him to use the inhaler in the octagon.
“[I’m] super sad,” Hardy said during the post-fight press conference. “It’s a Ventolin albuterol inhaler for exercise-induced asthma. I used it my whole life. I sign the commission paperwork when I weighed in. It’s on the USADA paperwork when I take every single drug test so that y’all know that I’m not taking steroids. I’m just naturally a monster.”
UFC president Dana White has since responded to the no-contest decision, explained that the move was, in fact, illegal. White also called out Hardy's corner for their lack of awareness in this situation. The former NFL defender is technically allowed to have an inhaler, but it's not legal inside the octagon and during a fight.
“I think if you watch it you can understand how it happened,” White said, per MMAMania. “But he asked the guy, and the guy said, ‘Is it medically approved?’ And he said, ‘It’s USADA approved.’ Because he put it down on his sheet that he was using an inhaler, and they knew he used an inhaler. So it’s crazy.
“I don’t even know what to say. First of all: Din Thomas … come on, Din. You’ve been in this game forever. His corner, they’ve got to know you can’t use an inhaler in the corner. They should know that. Shouldn’t even be a question. You can drink water. It’s pretty simple. Gatorade in some states.”
A former NFL defender for the Carolina Panthers and the Dallas Cowboys, Greg Hardy left the league after charges of assault and domestic violence. He was suspended for 10 games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but that was later reduced to only four.
Following an arrest for cocaine possession in September 2016, Hardy announced that he would be pursuing mixed martial arts on a full-time basis. Despite having no previous experience in the sport, Hardy achieved a 3-0 record on the amateur circuit before receiving an invitation to Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.
This was his route to professional fighting, but now Hardy will have to continue to prove that he belongs in the UFC after the latest issue caused him to forfeit a victory.
Photo Credit: Chris Unger/Zuffa LLC/Getty