The victorious heavyweight believes that Hardy’s inexperience as a professional MMA fighter is what led him to throw the illegal knee strike in the first place.
“I don’t think he was looking for a way out,” Crowder said on The MMA Hour. “I think it’s more inexperience. He’s not been doing this very long. He stepped out to the side. I believe in his mind he thought … I know he knew he’s not allowed to throw that knee with me on the ground. But I think heated up in the heat of the moment, he just forgot for a split second and threw that knee trying to get that finish. He just made a mistake. Another mistake of many mistakes that he makes. But I don’t feel like he was trying to cop out of the fight. He’s a tough dude. I think it was just an inexperience kind of thing.”
Hardy had only fought three times before as a pro, with two of those bouts coming in Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series.
Crowder says he wanted to still fight after the illegal knee strike landed, but the doctors wouldn’t allow him to continue.
“It more stunned me than anything,” Crowder said. “I fell back to my back and I knew that he wasn’t allowed to do that. So I was like, alright, I’m gonna take a second, I’m gonna get back up, we’ll be good to go. Then the doctors start running in there and they immediately stop the fight and whatnot.”
UFC President Dana White did say that Hardy would get another shot in the UFC, despite the DQ finish in Brooklyn.