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Durfee High security guard Yorgan De Castro will have plenty of support in UFC 249 against Greg Hardy

Outside of the ring, and his training sessions, the 32-year-old De Castro is a security guard at Fall River's Durfee High School.

"I know that they’re tuning in because of Greg Hardy, but at the end of the night, they’ll be talking about me," said Yorgan De Castro (above) Getty Images

It has become a given that whoever fights Greg Hardy instantly draws a large cheering section. UFC fans haven’t exactly warmed up to the disgraced former NFL defensive lineman, as evidenced by the reception he heard at his fight at TD Garden last October.

Hardy will not have to worry about hearing any boos Saturday night in Jacksonville — there will be no fans in attendance at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena when he steps into the cage as part of the opener for the main card of UFC 249.

But many of the mixed martial arts enthusiasts watching from the socially distant safety of their homes will still be rooting against Hardy, particularly if they know the story of his opponent, Yorgan De Castro.

Born in Cape Verde, De Castro moved to Portugal at age 19, when he took up kickboxing. In 2012, he moved to Fall River and transitioned to mixed martial arts. He turned pro in 2017 and won his first four fights before facing Alton Meeks in Dana White’s Contender Series. After finishing Meeks with a devastating kick to the left leg at the end of the first round, he was awarded a four-fight contract with UFC.

He made his debut at UFC 243, taking on undefeated Justin Tafa, the hometown favorite in Melbourne, Australia. Again, the fight did not get out of the first round; De Castro delivered a vicious right to the chin of Tafa to end the fight, raising his record to 6-0.

Outside of the ring, and his training sessions, the 32-year-old De Castro is a security guard at Durfee High School. A popular figure around the Fall River school’s campus, he received a loud ovation when he was introduced at a school rally before the football team’s Thanksgiving game with New Bedford last fall.

And he knows that they will be supporting him when he enters the Octagon Saturday night.

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