Greg Hardy’s win at UFC on ESPN 6 has been overturned to a no contest after he used an inhaler between the second and third rounds during his fight against Ben Sosoli, the promotion announced on Friday night.
Unless pre-approved by the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission, the use of an inhaler is illegal. At the post-fight press conference, UFC President Dana White said Hardy’s corner and coach Din Thomas told him a ringside inspector gave Hardy the OK when he asked to use the medicine between rounds.
“I think if you watch it, you can understand how it happened,” White said. “I don’t even know what to say.”
Hardy also claimed the commission gave him explicit permission. But the UFC immediately disputed that and announced the overturning of his unanimous decision win over Sosoli. A request for comment with the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission was not immediately returned.
“I was in the ring, (and) me and my coach asked the commission if it would be OK to use my inhaler and they said yes, so I took it,” Hardy said afterwards. “I’m still new guy in this sport. I did what I do in every situation – I asked permission, I got permission and I did what I was told.”
As soon as Hardy was seen using the inhaler between rounds, Marc Ratner, the UFC’s vice president of regulatory affairs, gave his opinion on the situation during the broadcast.
“Completely illegal. It’s against all the rules,” Ratner said.
The MSAC follows the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of prohibited substances. Inhalers are classified as beta-2 agonists and are prohibited at all times.
Hardy’s manager Abraham Kawa confirmed to MMA Fighting that they plan to appeal any action taken by the MSAC.
For his part, UFC president Dana White was confused by the whole situation, but ultimately felt like Hardy’s corner let him down.
“First of all, Din Thomas, come on Din, you’ve been in this game forever,” he said. “His corner, they’ve got to know you can’t use an inhaler in the corner. They should know that. Shouldn’t even be a question.”
Thomas did not immediately respond to a request for comment.