Greg Hardy to return at UFC on ESPN 3

Greg Hardy
Image: UFC on Instagram

Controversial former NFL player Greg Hardy will get another shot in the UFC, according to a report from ESPN.

The former football player is targeted to return opposite Dmitrii Smoliakov at UFC on ESPN 3 in Sunrise, Florida.

Greg Hardy, whose reputation is marred by a history of domestic violence, made his UFC debut at UFC Brooklyn in mid-January, where he took on Allen Crowder. Although Hardy had some success in this fight, he ultimately lost via disqualification after landing an illegal knee.

He chalked this error up to an unfamiliarity with the MMA rule-set.

“Looking back and listening to the rule, I didn’t really understand the rule,” Hardy told TMZ. “It was a different understanding. And the crazy thing is, in my mind, I wasn’t even gonna risk it, you know? I was literally waiting for him to get up. I saw the knee come up, and he grabbed the back of my other leg, so it feels like he’s standing up, man. And I was trying to time it.”

Greg Hardy is 3-1 as a pro.

His upcoming opponent, Dmitrii Smoliakov, will be making his UFC return after a submission victory over Evgeniy Bova under the Asian Challenge banner in Kaliningrad, Russia. Prior to this fight, he competed twice inside the UFC’s Octagon, losing to Cyril Asker by TKO and Luis Henrique by submission. He’s 9-2 overall.

Are you surprised that Greg Hardy is being given another shot in the UFC?

This article first appeared on BJPENN.COM on 3/4/2019.