Former Greg Hardy Opponent Dmitrii Smoliakov Released From UFC

Greg Hardy and Dmitrii Smoliakov
Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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Former Greg Hardy opponent, Dmitrii Smoliako, has once again been released by the UFC.

Smoliako had initially signed with the UFC as a heavyweight back in 2016. After two-straight first round losses, Smoliako was cut in 2017. After securing a first-round submission victory in Russia, Smoliako was brought back in to face former NFL star Greg Hardy in his second UFC bout.

Hardy finished Smoliako in the first round via TKO, in what was an extremely poor showing for the Russian. UFC President Dana White was very critical of Smoliako’s performance after the UFC Fort Lauderdale event:

“I’m not gonna say that I loved that fight,” White said. “I’ve been doing this for 20 years. We don’t do set-up fights for anybody,” said White. “If I was a fan, and probably some of the media the way some of the media acts, I would think I don’t know who the f— that guy beat in nine fights, but I’d like to find out the nine guys he beat.

Not to take anything away from Hardy. Hardy came in in great shape. Hardy doesn’t make fights. Me and my guys do. Hardy came in in better shape and he did what he had to do. He treated that guy like he was supposed to. A guy’s record is 9-2; I wanna see the nine guys he beat. You know what I mean? They might be in this room right now, actually.”

Following his knockout to Hardy, Smoliako has once again found himself cut by the Las Vegas-based promotion. The only three losses of his 12-fight career have all occurred under the UFC banner.