Other Fights to Watch (Maurice Greene vs Greg Hardy)
Key Stats: 0.65 submissions per 15 minutes (3rd), 4.31 strikes landed per minute (7th), 7:44 average fight time (5th shortest)
What It Means: Greene is a talented and light-moving heavyweight whose long frame (6-foot-7, 82-inch reach) makes him a puzzling fighter to approach for some. He has become increasingly adept at using that range to keep his foes at bay with long punches and a variety of body and leg kicks, but where he shines is on the canvas, as he uses those long limbs to fish for a variety of submissions. He is especially dangerous off his back, using an active guard to lock in triangle chokes and armbars rather quickly.
Key Stats: 57.5% significant strike defense (4th), +1.48 striking differential (4th), 83% takedown defense
What It Means: Though Hardy’s massive, stocky 6-foot-5 frame is physically imposing, the former NFL player has showed an increased patience with each appearance in the Octagon. His one-punch knockout power is real, as is his aggressiveness when he senses a finish, but he has improved in using his athleticism with improved footwork. Hardy is one of the faster, more explosive fighters in the division, both laterally on the outside and in leaping into range with a flurry of punches. He has become much more measured in his attack of late, but his power remains stunning and sudden.
What to Look For in the Fight: Despite Hardy’s relative inexperience, he has shown a high ceiling and consistent improvement with each entrance into the Octagon. Greene represents the most credentialed submission artist he has faced to date but getting Hardy to the ground has shown to be a tough task as his technique has come closer to matching his physical attributes. Greene isn’t one to go for straight takedowns, instead playing in his guard and off his back, so if Hardy finds himself trying to rain down ground-and-pound shots, he must be aware of Greene looking for a submission. On the feet, Hardy is the harder hitter and prefers throwing heavy hands, so how he chooses to get past Greene’s long attack and into boxing range is something to watch as well.