Greg Hardy, the once stud NFL defensive lineman who was bounced from the league after severely beating his girlfriend, is about to embark on new career in MMA, according to a tweet Hardy posted late last week (h/t CBS Sports).
Thank you and God bless bro pic.twitter.com/N4BVSVzQmC
— Greg Hardy (@GregHardyJr) October 13, 2017
While Hardy’s MMA foray starts with a small-time event, “Rise of a Warrior 21” at the 2,000-seat Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, Fla., on Nov. 4, you can bet UFC boss Dana White will be paying attention. As a notorious former NFL star, Hardy is a potential draw, and White said a year ago he may be willing to give Hardy a second chance.
Hardy played for the Carolina Panthers from 2010 through 2014 and was an absolute terror for opposing quarterbacks – he racked up 11 sacks in 2012 and 15 in 2013.
His NFL career started to come off the rails when he was accused in 2014 of domestic violence. He was released by the Panthers after the 2014 season, but the Cowboys picked up during the 2015 season.
But in November of that year, police photos that showed how badly he had beaten his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder, were released. Hardy also wasn’t particularly great with Dallas that season, and he displayed a less-than-cooperative attitude on the sidelines and a less-than-contrite attitude in general (shocking, we know), and that was his last season in the NFL.
Hardy, who is listed at 6-foot-4 and 278 pounds, has been training for MMA with American Top Team in Florida for about a year, per CBS Sports. Here’s video of him working out.
Last October, White said he’s all about forgiveness and that competing in the minor leagues of MMA is the right path for Hardy to take in order to make it to the big stage of UFC.
“I’m one of those guys who believes that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes,” White told FS1’s Jason Whitlock (again via CBS Sports). “And when you make a mistake, you pay your penance – whatever it might be – and you should be allowed to make a living and move on in your life. …
“He could fight in one of these small shows and we’ll see how he looks. I don’t know.”
It will be interesting to watch Hardy in the octagon, but it will be hard to cheer for him to win.