The heavyweight division in any combat sport, is always my favorite. Sure, the fast paced high action fights, with spinning kicks and flying submissions are fun, but nothing like watching two men almost too big for the cage, throw down. Heavyweights aren’t the fastest fighters and sometimes get a little tired before the last round, but when you have two men with a combined weight of over 500lbs throwing those big bricks for hands at each other’s face, things can get scary and exciting.
Jeremy “The Nightmare” Hardy knows all about this. He’s 2-0 as a pro, and has only been in the cage for a little over three minutes total; both fights have ended via TKO in the first round. Hardy steps into the cage at Fury Fighting Championship 5 against San Antonio’s own, Richard Odoms. I caught up with “The Nightmare” to try to find out why he hits so hard.
Mark Carrillo: You’re coming off of your second TKO win in as many fights, do you see this fight going the same way?
Jeremy Hardy: Yes and no. I train to go in there and finish any and every opponent I face. But as much as I want a knockout, sometimes I have to settle for submissions. So I’ll take whatever is given to me.
MC: Odoms is a big guy just like you, but he has more experience. With wins over some heavy hitters, what kind of message does a win over Odoms send to the other heavyweights?
JH: It solidifies my status in the state and local MMA scene, I’m still somewhat unknown around the area and abroad. A lot of people don’t believe I belong here just yet, so win or lose, I’m going to show I belong here.
MC: Does it worry you that Odoms will be fighting in his hometown in front of his fans?
JH: Not at all. I have been in enemy territory before. Plus, it makes me less nervous fighting in front of people I don’t know, compared to fighting in front of my hometown crowd.
MC: The last time you fought for Fury, your opponent went to jail after the fight. Odoms is a cop; any fear you may go to jail after this one?
JH: I’m not going to lie, jail is the only thing I’m afraid of, and from what I hear I have a cute butt. So we planned ahead and will have a getaway car gassed up and waiting outside.
MC: Odoms was signed to the UFC at one point, but was cut before he could step into the octagon. Even though this is just your third fight, do you think a win over Odoms shows you deserve a shot at the big show?
JH: I can’t say whether a win here warrants a shot just yet, but it will definitely put me on their radar and open up some doors for bigger fight opportunities.
MC: This is already your second fight of the year. How many more can we expect from you in 2015?
JH: I would like to fight at least another two or three times if possible. I want to be as active as I can.
MC: Who wins in a fight? You or Ronda Rousey?
JH: Ronda doesn’t want any part of this heavyweight action, and if she thinks that lame Judo or armbar will work, she better think again. Now if she tries a no arm mounted triangle, I might let her tap me out.
MC: Who wins in a fight? You or your fiancé?
JH: Well if Ash is reading this, I’m probably going to get smacked around after this fight. She is the scariest opponent I have ever faced, and she cray cray. Love you girl!
MC: Anything you would like to say to Odoms before the fight?
JH: Good luck.
MC: Who all would you like to thank for helping you prepare for this fight?
JH: First and foremost, I want to thank Jesus Christ, my lord and savior, for allowing me to do what I love. My ever faithful sponsors at TRU Bloodline, Bloodhound Clothing Inc., and St. Michael’s Emergency Rooms. My coaches and teammates at Bushi Ban and Team Tooke South, for always pushing me to be the best that I can be. My family for always having my back through the good and the bad, and you for the interview. I always hoped I would get to do one of your wacky interviews and it was everything I dreamt it would be.