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Greg Hardy on pro MMA debut: ‘I’m here because Dana White is an angel’

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Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) President Dana White has been called a lot of things throughout his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career (like this), but I think this might be the first time I’ve ever heard him referred to as an angel.

White earned that label by giving Greg Hardy a chance to compete in combat sports, a risky move considering the baggage the former NFL star brings with him to the Octagon, including past troubles with substance abuse and accusations of domestic violence.

“I’m here because Dana White is an angel that gave me the opportunity to come and put my best foot forward,” Hardy recently told reporters (via ESPN). “I honestly couldn’t begin to explain it, I can only express my appreciation and gratitude for the opportunity to be here and show what kind of athlete I am and what I have developed into.”

After racking up an amateur career with three straight wins (and three straight knockouts), Hardy will attempt to break into the world of professional cage fighting by throwing hands with fellow gridiron veteran Austen Lane.

“First of all, he went through everything the whole legal process,” White said during the UFC 225 post-fight press conference (via Sherdog). “The guy was never charged for anything. He was never sentenced or anything like that. So I’m gonna give him a shot.”

That shot takes place tonight (Tues., June 12, 2018) on Dana White’s “Tuesday Night Contender Series,” held inside The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) gym in Las Vegas, Nevada, live on UFC Fight Pass.