As you might expect, there were a lot of different opinions on Greg Hardy once the former NFL star announced his foray into mixed martial arts (MMA). After calls to have him “blackballed” from cage fighting fell on deaf ears, the “Prince of War” found his way to Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).
Where he currently stands at 1-1.
But every time Hardy steps foot inside the Octagon, he can expect to be heckled by some fans who believe he should not get a free pass for a domestic violence conviction back in 2014, one that was later tossed when the victim failed to testify during his appeal.
According to boxing coach Billy Padden, nobody died during the night of the “alleged incident;” therefore, no malice was intended and Hardy should not be labeled as a “woman beater,” because the label is undeserved.
“I watch Greg Hardy hit grown men and make them limp as a noodle in seconds,” Padden told Bloody Elbow. “If he had any malice the night of this alleged incident, the woman would be dead. Every time I’m walking him to the ring, I hear, ‘You woman beater,’ I hear nasty things said to him. I don’t think he deserves it. The Greg Hardy I know is one of the best living guys I’ve met down here.”
Hardy’s ex-girlfriend isn’t dead, but police documented her injuries — some of them graphic — on the night of the incident (see them here). Prosecutors also told the court she received a settlement and the judge later required him to relinquish his assault rifles.
One thing Padden hasn't considered is that in our beloved sport of MMA, “toxic” fans will shit all over fighters for just about anything, so this idea that Hardy should be spared is a fantasy. American fans, in particular, are generally considered the worst in the world.
No question the well-paid Hardy has athletic prowess and the power to throw a knockout punch
to a downed opponent, but his future in combat sports is predicated on his ability to master every skill set, including wrestling and cardio.
It would also help if he kept his mouth shut and stopped comparing himself to legends like Michael Jordan.