Tonight, in the first episode of the second season of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy will fight for a UFC contract. The very fact that Hardy is being given a shot at earning a UFC contract, however, has been met with widespread backlash, as he was essentially bounced from the NFL for some truly troubling domestic violence charges. NFL and MMA analyst Jay Glazer even called for the entire MMA community to blackball the former football player.
In the lead-up to Hardy’s DWTNCS debut, White himself has been adamant that everybody deserves a second chance — despite assuring in 2014 that “putting your hands on a woman” is “one thing that you never bounce back from.” Hardy is also asking for a second chance. He explained why he deserves that chance in a Monday media scrum.
“Get to know me first,” Hardy told reporters (transcribed by Jed Meshew for MMA Fighting). “Meet me would be a good start. Talk to me, and give me the opportunity that you would give anybody else. Look forward to watching me on TV. Come out and enjoy the event – whether it’s to see me get beat up or to see me excel – and then make a decision or make your opinion and I’ll respect it as a human being. That’s honestly where I have to come from on any platform these days because that’s the reality that I have to live in.”
“I’m unafraid [to talk about it],” Hardy said, referencing his checkered past. “I don’t know if everybody’s familiar with my history, but I’ve never been afraid to talk, or be in the spotlight. This is what I do. This is who I am. I was born to compete, I was born to be here. I put in the work, I work harder than everybody else, and I try to just put my best foot forward and do it for my team and do it for everybody that helped me get here.
“Honestly it’s just the burden that comes with it. Who am I to question fans? These are the people that pay my salary so they have the right to have opinions, they have the right to be who they are. Me being biased towards those people would be me being exactly who they think I am and honestly, that’s not who I am. . .
“There’s a whole lot of levels of understanding when you don’t know a person, when you don’t know any of the facts. But I do understand people do have their own opinions and if you don’t respect people’s opinions, that’s just Hitler-esque.”
“I am here because Dana White is an angel, a saint that gave me the opportunity to come and put my best foot forward. I honestly couldn’t begin to explain why, I can only just express my appreciation and my gratitude for the opportunity to be here and show what kind of athlete I am.”
Do you think the UFC should be involving itself with Greg Hardy?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/11/2018.This article appeared first on BJPENN.COM