Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy is transitioning to the world of mixed martial arts after not being signed after a quarter of the 2016 season.
Hardy became a pariah around the NFL in 2014 after being arrested and tried for beating up an ex-girlfriend, though a retrial resulted in the charges being dismissed and a settlement being reached.
Hardy was released by the Carolina Panthers after the incident, and was signed to the Dallas Cowboys for the 2015 season, which he missed four games of due to suspension, though the suspension had been reduced to four games from ten. He was not re-signed despite leading the team in QB pressures and being second on the team in terms of sacks.
Though Hardy has no prior martial arts experience, his team has claimed he has been training for “several months” and that multiple promotions have come calling, though no names were given.
But, even if Hardy has no experience, he stands 6 feet 5 inches tall, weighs 285 pounds, and was considered a top level pass rusher in the NFL before his downfall, so he definitely has the physical pedigree to make a splash.
Many are outraged and demand that no promotion sign Hardy, decrying a promotion making a draw out of such a controversial figure, and pointing out that MMA and the NFL are both known for their high levels of domestic abuse among their athletes.
Hardy is also dealing with more legal trouble, as he was arrested and charged with cocaine possession on September 26 of this year, though Hardy claimed someone placed the baggie of drugs in his wallet as he passed it around to pay for everyone at a party the previous night.
His debut is expected to come sometime in 2017 as a Heavyweight, once he’s dropped the required 20 pounds to the 265 pound limit.
More on this as it develops in the coming months.