COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Greg Hardy wants a ranked opponent for his next UFC fight, but he isn’t certain if the promotion will oblige.

From the outset of his fighting career, Hardy (5-1 MMA, 2-1 UFC) has been looking to test himself. His ambitions are grand, however, he’s said he has faith in his coaches, management in the UFC brass that they will develop him in the best way they see fit.

With three UFC fights under his belt, though, the controversial former NFL standout said he is ready for a step up. Following his 45-second TKO win over Juan Adams at UFC on ESPN 4 in July, Hardy is seeking a top-15 foe.

“We’re looking with somebody with numbers behind their name,” Hardy told MMA Junkie on Thursday. “Going to bring a whole lot of pain, stretch this fight game out and see if we can go three rounds, maybe. See what that looks like.

“I can’t presume to know what the boss has in his mind and I will never do that. It’s not my place. I would say I think I deserve nothing. I haven’t earned it, it’s only been two years. But I also think I will crush anyone you put in front of me. So bring it.”

Hardy, 31, has been quite active since he turned professional in June 2018. He already has pro six fights, and he said he would like to fit two more in this year, if possible. He’s currently waiting for his next booking, but even in the rare instance where he doesn’t have a fight lined up, Hardy said he’s working hard on his craft.

Despite not having his next fight signed, Hardy is living in the American Top Team dorms, and is taking the time away from friends and family to improve his skill set. He enjoys fight preparation, he said, but getting a chance tune the finer details outside of camp is important to his growth, as well.

“This is my time basically to just work on everything that is Greg Hardy,” Hardy said. “Grappling, punching, there is no specifics. There’s not a guy to worry about taking me down. This is where I become a martial artist and take the next step. Work on my gi, work on my no-gi, work on my kickboxing. Just encompass everything that is a fighter and build my game to be an actual world champion instead of some fluke showcase movie-deal fight guy.”

Hardy said he can feel his abilities flourishing each day. He expects to be a different fighter than the one who beats Adams by the time he steps in the octagon again, and while fighting for a title is still a long way off, he said that’s the attitude which is going to take him to the belt.

“These guys push me to become something the world has never seen,” Hardy said. “We’re going to be the most complete, most dangerous, most vicious fighter of all time. We are literally stone-by-stone, brick-by-brick building everything I need.”

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