Over the weekend, former NFL player Greg Hardy finally made his MMA debut, competing in a amateur heavyweight contest at a regional show called “Rise of a Warrior 21″ in Fort Pierce, Florida.
Though Hardy’s MMA debut was mostly drowned out by the excitement of UFC 217, it was an impressive one all the same, as he crumpled his foe Joe Hawkins in less than a minute. Regrettably, Hardy also threw a punch after the intervention of the referee – an undeniably bad look for an athlete with a past as checkered as his.
See Greg Hardy’s MMA debut at the top of this post.
As Hardy says in the video above, his focus is currently on an eventual move to the UFC. As ESPN recounts, however, his track record is pretty rough.
“In 2014, Hardy’s NFL career took a turn for the worse when he was accused of domestic violence. He was initially suspended 10 games by the NFL in 2015 for “conduct detrimental to the league,” but that ruling was reduced to four games while he was a member of the Cowboys. Hardy contends that he never violated the NFL’s personal conduct policy.
“Hardy’s six-year career included 165 tackles and 40 sacks in 75 games. He played one season with Dallas and five seasons with the Carolina Panthers.”
While Hardy plans on making a move to the UFC, he also doesn’t rule out a return to football.
“I’d be a fool to turn away from what I loved doing for so long,” Hardy he told ESPN (via MMAJunkie.com). “But it’s a habit of an athlete, a player and a baller to put his whole heart and soul into what I’m doing.
“So the UFC has got my heart and soul. That’s where I’m going in my mind and my heart. Everything that I do is focused on this MMA career, so I’m coming.”
What do you think of Greg Hardy’s MMA debut? Do you want to see him in the UFC?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/11/2017.