Report: Greg Hardy To Face Dmitrii Smoliakov At UFC on ESPN 3

MMA

Greg Hardy is set to return to the Octagon in April.

ESPN's Ariel Helwani reports that the former NFL star turned MMA fighter is scheduled to face Dmitrii Smoliakov at UFC on ESPN 3 on Apr. 27. 

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Hardy lost his UFC debut by disqualification against Allen Crowder in January after throwing an illegal knee in the second round. After the bout, Hardy took full responsibility for throwing the illegal strike but said he did not throw the knee on purpose. Crowder chalked up the knee to "inexperience" on the part of Hardy. UFC President Dana White promised Hardy would get another fight in the UFC despite the controversial finish and Hardy's checkered past.

Hardy is 3-1 in his professional career with all three wins coming by first-round (T)KO within the first minute. 

Smoliakov is 8-2 in his career, but 0-2 in the UFC. He last fought in January 2017, losing to Cyril Asker by first-round TKO. He was submitted by Luis Henrique in his UFC debut in July 2016. The 36-year-old Russian has never gone to a decision in his 10 professional fights. 

UFC on ESPN 3 is scheduled for Apr. 27 from the BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida.

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