Not long after earning an Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) contract by knocking out Austen Lane on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series (video highlights here), former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy suffered a setback.
Indeed, Hardy suffered a knee injury during an arena football game where he plays for the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League.
Greg Hardy fights through 1st Quarter injury to help the @RichRoughRiders surge past the Carolina Energy 57-43 to land in Championship for second straight year at the @RVAColiseum on June 30th Tix available Friday to General Public @RVAdirt @jeffkatzshow @marcdavissports pic.twitter.com/ZhklbGXHD0— Richmond Roughriders (@RichRoughRiders) June 20, 2018
While the severity of the injury is unknown, we should have a better understanding in the near future, as Greg is set to have his injury examined in the coming days according to ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. That said, Hardy was able to return to the game in the second half. And since he is expected to play in next weeks AAL championship game against the Atlanta Havoc, according to MMA Junkie, things seem to be looking positive.
While Hardy wasn’t going to get a fight inside the Octagon straight away after winning his professional mixed martial arts (MMA) debut, instead taking a fight on the regional circuit, the injury should be of some concern to the promotion.
In the past, UFC has been very cautious of allowing its athletes to partake in other physical activities while under contract, though they have been a bit more flexible over time as evidenced by the number of fighters partaking in jiu-jitsu tournaments in their spare time.
While I’m sure most combatants are appreciative, it will be interesting to see if the promotion will prevent Hardy from playing football in any capacity while under contract moving forward given this incident.