As if running full-speed at someone whose head you’re trying to knock off wasn’t violent enough for Greg Hardy, the former NFL player is making a transition to MMA.
The controversial former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive end and one of the top talents in the entire NFL will put his football career on hold to pursue MMA after not being able to sign with a team in a league that had essentially ‘black-balled’ him.
Hardy joined the ranks of Ray Rice when he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list following wild reports of domestic violence with an ex-girlfriend that involved Hardy beating her up on top of a pile of assault weapons. Signed by the Cowboys after being cut by the Panthers, the defensive end went on to miss the first four games of the 2015 and was cut after the season likely due to behavior issues.
The 28-year-old doesn’t have an extensive martial arts background, but according to reports has been training for several months in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and according to his team, several promotions have already expressed interest in signing him.
Hardy sent out a tweet earlier this month alluding to his new start in a different sport:
Thank you to all my fans for the love and support these past few weeks. Exciting news I can’t wait to share with y’all.
— Greg Hardy (@GregHardyJr) October 9, 2016
In a statement issued to MMAFighting.com, Hardy said, “I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career. I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”I’m fully committed to being as successful as I can be in this sport.”
Hardy will have to stay clean though, as he was arrested on a cocaine possession charge in outside of Dallas last month, a drug which the sport takes seriously.
Hardy, weighing in at 285 pounds, is expected to debut as a heavyweight when he fights for the first time likely sometime next year. There’s no word yet on if Hardy will request to fight women or men.