MMA Preview – Greg Hardy vs Dmitry Smolyakov at UFC on ESPN+ 8

AT A GLANCE

When is UFC on ESPN+ 8? Sunday 28th April, 2019 - 00:00 start (UK)

Where is UFC on ESPN+ 8? BB&T Center, Sunrise, Florida

What channel is UFC on ESPN+ 8 on? BT Sport 1

Where can I stream UFC on ESPN+ 8? BT Sport subscribers can stream the fight online via the BT Sport website

Are tickets still available for UFC on ESPN+ 8? http://uk.ufc.com/event-ticket-info?utm_source=ufc&utm_medium=tab&utm_campaign=tickets

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THE STATISTICS

THE LOWDOWN

The controversial former NFL star – Greg Hardy did not do much to dilute his reputation in his UFC debut back in January. He took on Allen Crowder and looked frightening until he gassed out by the second round, and his lack of experience showed as he delivered an illegal knee while Crowder was grounded. It was a silly mistake as it was a thrilling fight and the first opportunity he had display his talents to the MMA world.

The UFC have handed him a Master of Sport in freestyle wrestling to test his calibre and cardio. Dmitry Smolyakov arrived to the UFC in 2016 with a record of 8-0 but felt the difference in competition as he got finished in his two UFC fights getting submitted by Luis Henrique and knocked out by Cyril Asker. However, the Russian came back to the sport after two years and submitted Evgeniy Bova for the Asian Challenge promotion and is looking to rejuvenate his career.

THE PREDICTION

We have a good idea of what to expect and that will be for Smolyakov to try and get his hands on Hardy to wear him out, while the former defensive end will bank on his raw explosiveness and power to put him to sleep out before he gets a chance.

Hardy is a freak athlete and despite his lack of experience he can put anybody away with his hands. However, if Smolyakov can weather the early storm and endure the first round, his supreme wrestling will be enough to drain Hardy and earn a decision.

Winner: Smolyakov via Decision

Striking and grappling stats sourced via FightMetric.