Greg Hardy has announced that he will soon be debuting as a mixed martial artist.
Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end is setting his professional football career aside to pursue MMA as announced by MMAFighting.com.
While he does not have a known background in martial arts, Hardy is noted to have been training for months in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hardy’s team mentioned that although he has not fully established himself as an MMA fighter, a number of promotions have expressed interest in signing him.
Hardy told MMAFighting.com, “I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” and said “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”
Hardy is known to be quite controversial as he missed most of the 2014 NFL season with the Carolina Panthers after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list due to a domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend. Additionally, Hardy missed 4 games of the 2015 season due to suspension, which also stemmed from the case.
After completing five seasons with the Panthers, Hardy signed with the Dallas Cowboys but is noted to have not found a place in the starting lineup.
Controversy struck Hardy yet again when last month he was arrested on cocaine possession charges in Richardson, TX.
Hardy’s teammates told MMAFighting.com that he currently weighs about 285 pounds and is expected to debut as a heavyweight sometime in 2017.
Other professional football players who switched to MMA include:
Brock Lesnar (6-3) • Minnesota Vikings
Matt Mitrione (11-5) • New York Giants, Minnesota Vikings
Brendan Schaub (10-5) • Buffalo Bills
Wes Shivers (8-1) • Atlanta Falcons
Rex Richards (7-2) • Indianapolis Colts
Marcus Jones (4-2) • Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Herschel Walker (2-0) • Dallas Cowboys, Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles, New York Giants
Michael Westbrook (1-1-1) • Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals
With Hardy debuting as a heavyweight (ranging from 205 lbs. to 265), it is known that his professional MMA journey will not be an easy one. The largest professional MMA organization in the world, the Ultimate Fighting Championship, currently has 51 heavyweight contenders with defending Stipe Miocic (16-2-0) being the UFC Heavyweight Champion of the world.
The world of MMA now sits in anticipation as Hardy told MMAFighting that he is “fully committed to being as successful as [he] can be in this sport.”