Greg Hardy, a former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys is transitioning to MMA. Reportedly, Hardy is currently preparing to make his debut.
According to an article by MMA Fighting, Greg Hardy is preparing to make his debut in MMA. Though he does not have an extensive background in martial arts or any kind of combat sport, he has been training for several months in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Hardy made a statement recently on how he plans to move forward with his MMA career.
“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career. I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”
For those who do not watch NFL and don’t know about Greg Hardy’s career in the sport, he was a member of the Carolina Panthers for five seasons and the Dallas Cowboys for one season. In 2014, he missed the majority of the season after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list because of a domestic violence incident with his ex-girlfriend at the time. Going into 2015, he missed the first four games of the season to serve a suspension because of that case. It is fortunate for him he only missed that number of games because his original punishment was for 10 games.
After the 2015 season, Greg Hardy was unable to sign on with another team during the off-season. Apparently, his woes continued as he was arrested last month for a cocaine possession charge in the Dallas suburb of Richardson. Needless to say, if he can find success in MMA, it would most-likely turn his life around from the downturn he is experiencing at the moment. Just the fact that he is a popular former NFL star has given him some advantages, as his team claims several promotions have already expressed their interest in signing him. When Hardy does make his expected debut in 2017, it will be in the heavyweight division as he currently weighs 285 pounds.
Now that the MMA community knows of Greg Hardy’s pursuit to be a fighter, many are criticizing him, claiming he won’t make it simply because he has no prior combat sports experience along with his minimal MMA training. Many even related the situation to another well-known athlete who was in a different sport (though it would technically be sports entertainment for him), CM Punk. Though WWE fans were steadfast and dedicated to Punk, the general MMA community were adamant in their belief he did not belong. Even now, after he lost to Mickey Gall after two years of training, they still don’t believe Punk will make a name for himself despite him saying he won’t give up.
In Greg Hardy’s case, things are a bit different. First off, Hardy isn’t making his debut in UFC. From what we know, he is working from the ground up just like many other MMA fighters. Second, he is fighting as a heavyweight which technically doesn’t have the same range of fighters the other weight divisions have, with the exception of the flyweight division. And to be fair, history does show that former NFL players can find success in MMA, a sentiment shared with Dayne Fox of Bloody Elbow who used Matt Mitrione as an example. Other former NFL players who found success in MMA after NFL includes Wes Shivers (formerly of the Atlanta Falcons) and Brendan Schaub (formerly of the Buffalo Bills practice squad).
Ultimately, the MMA community is going to stick to what they believe, thinking that Greg Hardy will either make it or not in the combat sport. We can only wait and see. Who knows? Maybe Hardy will surprise everyone like Brock Lesnar surprised everyone with his successful MMA career.
[Featured Image by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images]