Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy will have a chance to earn a UFC contract tonight, when he faces former NFL defensive end Austen Lane in his first professional fight.
And the head of his new sport is willing to move past the domestic violence charges which are part of the reason Hardy’s no longer playing football.
Via MMAWeekly.com, UFC president Dana White said he’s looking forward to Hardy’s fight.
“If you talk to anybody he trains with, male or female, they say that he’s a very good guy. He’s very humble. Everybody deserves a second chance,” White said. “The guy was never charged with anything, he was never sentenced or anything like that. We’re going to give him a shot.”
Domestic violence charges against Hardy from 2014 were eventually dismissed when the victim refused to testify against him, after a reported civil settlement. He spent all but one game of the 2014 season on the NFL’s commissioner’s exempt list and then was eventually given a 10-game suspension which was reduced to four.
The Cowboys gave him a second chance in the NFL, but ultimately found him to be more trouble than he was worth, and given their perpetual need for pass-rushers, that’s saying something.
Hardy has beaten three overmatched amateur opponents in his efforts to become a professional fighter.
And it’s certainly a good thing that his female training partners are willing to vouch for him. Presumably they have protective padding, and are working out in a gym, where there’s less of a chance they’ll be thrown into a bathtub or onto a futon full of guns.