UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy is no stranger to controversy. The former NFL defensive back entered mixed martial arts with a checkered past that included domestic violence and drug possession during his football career. He was disqualified in his UFC debut against Allen Crowder in January after delivering an illegal knee. On Friday, controversy and Hardy reunited.
During Hardy’s UFC on ESPN 6 bout against Ben Sosoli, Hardy used an albuterol inhaler while in his corner prior to the third and final round. He went on to win by unanimous decision, but the win was taken away moments later and the fight ruled a No Contest.
After Hardy used the inhaler, UFC Vice President of Regulatory Affairs Marc Ratner entered the ESPN broadcast booth and said on air that the use of the inhaler was “completely illegal, no question about it.”
It may have been an honest mistake on Hardy’s part, but UFC president Dana White believes Hardy’s corner should have known that Hardy wasn’t allowed to use an inhaler between rounds. White’s blame fell mostly on former UFC fighter and Hardy’s coach Din Thomas. Thomas appeared on White’s reality series Lookin for a Fight.
“When the fight was over I went over to Din Thomas and said, ‘what the (expletive) are you doing? How are you using an inhaler?’ He said, ‘the commissioner said we could,’” White recounted.
“I think if you watch it, you can understand how it happened. He (Hardy) asked the guy and the guy said, ‘is it medically approved?’ He said, ‘it’s USADA approved’ because he put it down on his sheet that he was using an inhaler and they knew that he used an inhaler,” explained White.
“I don’t even know what to say. First of all, Din Thomas, I mean come on Din. You’ve been in this game forever. You know what I mean? His corner, they’ve got to know that you can’t use an inhaler in the corner. They should know that. It shouldn’t even be a question,” said the UFC president. “You can drink water. It’s pretty simple, Gatorade in some states.”