MMA fighter’s disdain for Greg Hardy stems from witnessing domestic abuse as child

SAN ANTONIO — Juan Adams could've taken a swing at Greg Hardy when they ran into each other at the host hotel for UFC on ESPN 4.

Adams was going down the elevator, and Hardy and his team wanted up. Elevator's full, Adams told them.

As much as Adams loathes Hardy, he's not about to do anything to jeopardize his chance to win retribution when they meet in the octagon Saturday at AT&T Center.

"There's so much that goes into it, and the culminating point is an opportunity," Adams told MMA Junkie on Wednesday. "There's retribution in it. There's payback. I really want to put my hands on this man. I just want to make it to Saturday."

Grudges are a dime a dozen in the UFC, but for Adams (5-1 MMA, 1-1 UFC) it goes deeper than that. It's what Hardy represents and how that intersects with his personal history that bothers him. And it all stems from how Hardy dealt with a 2015 domestic violence conviction that was ultimately overturned when his victim refused to testify on appeal.

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Greg Hardy (red gloves) reacts during his bout against Dmitrii Smoliakov during UFC Fight Night at BB&T Center. Mandatory Credit: (Photo: Steve Mitchell, USA TODAY Sports)

"When I was 6 years old, I watched my mom get beat up in front of me," Adams said. "I tried to fight that dude. I was 6 years old trying to fight a grown man. Now, if it were to happen, that's not how it would have gone down. That plays a big role in it, being able to do something about things I don't like. I can control the situation a bit more now.

"Furthermore, I've tried to do the right thing pretty much my whole life. It's deeply ingrained in me, between going to Catholic high school, Eagle Scout. … I went to a military college with a single sanction honor system. It's always been about doing what's right, and to see someone that hasn't lived that or hasn't always done the right thing, made as many mistakes as he has …granted, we all make mistakes. But for him to show no remorse for it at all and still get better opportunities than me, that adds a little extra to it."

Despite their common roots on Dana White's Contender Series, Hardy has retained headliner status despite his past. Adams has fought on a pair of preliminary cards, taking on a former Olympic wrestler in his second bout.

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