The video shows the Russian’s cousin, Abubakar Nurmagomedov, who is also an MMA fighter, appearing to pay homeless people to do pushups while Nurmagomedov holds the camera and laughs uproariously. Several other MMA fighters were not at all amused, with UFC middleweight Jack Hermansson calling it “disgusting.”
Nurmagomedov, 29, is set to square off with McGregor for the lightweight crown on Oct. 6 at UFC 229, in what will be the Irishman’s first MMA fight since November 2016. The match is considered to have a good shot at setting a UFC record for pay-per-view revenue, but the company’s president, Dana White, can’t be thrilled with the latest headlines created by Nurmagomedov.
The 30-year-old Hardy accounted for a slew of negative reports during his NFL career, one that fizzled after he was suspended while legal proceedings played out involving allegations of domestic abuse. His last stop, with the Cowboys, was also marked by other behavioral issues, as the team released him after one season while reportedly concerned about his off-field partying and lateness for meetings, as well as about his run-ins with teammates,
White, however, appeared pleased with the recent addition to his UFC roster, after Hardy (2-0) dispatched fellow heavyweight Tebaris Gordon (3-1) in just 17 seconds. Appearing again on White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, where he scored a 57-second knockout in June to win his professional MMA debut, Hardy swarmed Gordon from the outset and dropped his overmatched opponent under a flurry of punches.
After the win, White stood near Hardy as the latter was taking questions from reporters, and he interjected to claim that he had taken a call from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones about three weeks previously, in which Jones said of Hardy, “He was the toughest son of a b—- we ever had on this team.”
Moments before, Hardy had said he would like to continue his NFL career, but only with one of the two teams for which he previously played, telling reporters with a chuckle, “Listen, if the Cowboys or the Panthers call — brother, I’m on my way.”
After Hardy’s comments about Jones, Hardy said, “The best people in the world, right there. … So if those guys call, I’m in there, but other than that, boss man, this is what I do and I’m happy to be here.”
White said that despite Hardy’s dominance in his first two fights, the former defensive end, who is signed to a developmental deal, needs some more seasoning before he possibly competes on the UFC’s top-level circuit. “He’s got two fights, some of these kids have 12 fights, some are 7-0,” said White (via MMA Fighting). “He’s got nothing but time. He has to get some more work in.”
“I did what I said I’d do. I’m here for business,” Hardy said. “I just had it on my mind. Come out, put on pressure, apply my skill set. … I was in the zone. I was going to keep throwing punches until it was waved off.”
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