The relationship between football players and mixed martial arts keeps getting deeper. Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy announced his plans to become a mixed martial arts fighter this week, and the UFC is actually considering it.
Hardy was convicted of assaulting his ex-girlfriend in July 2014 before having charges dropped when the alleged victim refused to testify against him. The Carolina Panthers let him go after the 2014 season. After being signed by the Dallas Cowboys, he was suspended for four games by the NFL for violating the league’s conduct policy.
Greg Hardy scores his 3rd amateur victory inside the Legacy Fighting Alliance cage at LFA 33. AXS TV is Your Home for MMA every Friday Night! Find AXS TV HERE: http://bit.ly/WtTUDr
Hardy played the year out for the Cowboys but was not re-signed. He was most recently arrested in September for felony possession of a controlled substance. His legal troubles and history of domestic violence appear to have ended his NFL career, so he’s now looking towards becoming a professional mixed martial arts fighter.
Despite his past legal issues, UFC President Dana White didn’t deny the possibility of Hardy fighting at a UFC event, insisting that the company would need to see him succeed elsewhere first.
“I’m one of those guys who believes that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes,” White told Jason Whitlock on FS1’s “Speak for Yourself.” “And 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.”
That isn’t a commitment that Hardy would be signed by the company if he proves himself, but White is certainly not ruling out the possibility.
“I’m not saying he should be welcomed in the UFC, but I’m saying I’m a guy that believes if you make a mistake, your life isn’t over, go kill yourself or something. You made a mistake. You pay for it. When you make mistakes, it’s all about how you act from there on out. How do you handle yourself after that and what do you do to fix it?” White added.
If UFC was to bring Hardy in, White would not throw him into a massive event immediately like he did with former WWE superstar CM Punk, who made his debut in less than stellar fashion against Mickey Gall at UFC 203.
“He could fight in one of these small shows and we’ll see how he looks. I don’t know,” White said.
With incidents like Jon “War Machine” Koppenhaver’s brutal assault on his then-girlfriend Christy Mack still fresh, the UFC should tread lightly with Hardy.
Mack and associate Corey Thomas were assaulted by War Machine in her Las Vegas home. She suffered 18 broken bones, a broken nose, had some of her teeth knocked out, a fractured rib and a ruptured liver. According to Mack, War Machine also attempted to rape her.
War Machine has been sentenced to life in prison with chance of parole after 36 years for the assault of ex-girlfriend Christy Mack.
On June 5, 2017, War Machine was sentenced to an aggregate sentence of life in prison with the possibility of parole after 36 years.
With MMA once being labeled “human cockfighting” by Arizona Senator John McCain, and the slew of existing domestic abuse cases against current fighetrs, the UFC should tread lightly with any new potential entrants that have a documented history of violence and drug issues.