If one athletic door closes, might as well try another. Such is the case of former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive end, Greg Hardy, who wishes to pursue a career in mixed martial arts (MMA) now that his National Football League (NFL) career is all but finished. Indeed, Hardy now joins the likes of Tim Tebow, a former NFL quarterback who was just recently signed to the New York Mets organization; however, Hardy, 28, is in a far different situation.
Shortly after turning in a pro-bowl season in 2013, Hardy was involved in a domestic violence case that forced him to sit out the majority of 2014. After he joined the Cowboys prior to the 2015 season, he was sentenced to a 10-game suspension, which was later reduced to four games. His unpredictable and awful behavior off the gridiron essentially ensured no other teams would be interested in his services when he became a free agent this offseason. So, Hardy has decided to transition into MMA.
UFC President Dana White was a recent guest on Jason Whitlock’s FOX Sports 1 show, “Speak for Yourself,” where he was asked about Hardy’s MMA move.
“Yeah, I’m one of those guys too, who believes that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes,” White said regarding Hardy’s domestic violence history. “When you make a mistake, you pay your penance whatever it might be, and you should be allowed to make a living and move on in your life.”
Jay Glazer strongly disagrees. Nonetheless, while White was forgiving about Hardy’s criminal past, he delivered a realistic take pertaining to Hardy’s MMA transition.
“Is he good enough to come into the UFC and fight? You know, I highly doubt it. What he should do is start training — he could fight in one of these small shows, we’ll see how he looks and I don’t know.”
When Whitlock stated that Hardy has been training for the past several months, White jokingly responded with, “I’ve been playing football for a couple weeks, too, maybe I’ll go try out for the Patriots. You know, it takes a little bit longer than that.”
Perhaps Hardy will be successful in MMA, but the beginning of his career surely won’t start in UFC. And that’s a good thing.