Hardy comes into the fight off a January loss to Allen Crowder, in which he was disqualified in the second round after landing an illegal knee to Crowder while he was down.
Hardy, a former NFL Pro Bowl defensive end, stands at 6 feet, 4 inches tall and has an 80 inch reach. All three fights that the 30 year-old has won to date have been by KO.
The American has precious little experience and at this stage his hopes seem to be based on his standup boxing and the fact that if he connects with one of his power strikes, it could well prove decisive. In all other areas, he is lacking when up against quality fighters and there are even worries about his stamina after he blamed the illegal knee to Crowder on fatigue.
The Russian-born 36 year-old stands at 6 feet, 2 inches tall and possesses a 74 inch reach – giving up six inches to Hardy. He’s coming off a January win over Evgeniy Bova.
Smoliakov returns to the UFC after losing in his two fights against Cyril Asker and Luis Henrique. These were his only two career losses to date, but also the only notable names he’s fought in his career. He has a background in freestyle wrestling and also has some decent hand speed that sees him putting some nice combinations together.
Fiiiiight weeeeek!!!! Jacare vs Hermansson and Hardy vs Smoliakov this Saturday LIVE on ESPN+ pic.twitter.com/N23mVov5VY— Dana White (@danawhite) April 22, 2019
Greg Hardy vs Dmitrii Smoliakov Lines & Pick
As for predictions in this fight, if “the Lifeguard” can get Hardy on the canvas, he should have a significant edge and as the underdog in this bout he looks to be worth backing as the tip on that basis against so raw an opponent.
The UFC bettting line on Hardy is -286 with 888sport, with the betting odds on Smoliakov being +250 with bet365.