Greg Hardy, a former NFL defensive lineman, made his mixed martial arts debut last night in Fort Pierce, Fla., scoring a knockout victory over opponent Joe Hawkins in just 32 seconds at the Rise of a Warrior 21.
“I had a lot of nerves, but it was good to get ‘em out, it was good to just work through it and be in the ring,” Hardy said in a post-fight interview. “I was glad to compete and be back in a place where I can get it out and go at it.”
At just 29-years-old, Hardy could certainly have a future in MMA, but he’s also had to deal with issues outside of athletics as well. In 2014, Hardy was a linked to a domestic violence issue. He received 18 months of probation, but the charges were later dropped.
Now able to compete again, although it being in a different sport, Hardy revealed that he was ‘super excited’. He also made it quite clear what his plans are:
“I’ve been humbled a lot the last two years, I’m just super excited to be able to compete, super excited to be back in the arena, super excited to be the Greg Hardy that everybody knows and remembers, give back to my fans and everybody that gave me so much time and respect,” Hardy said.
“All the way to the UFC, man,” he added. “All the way.”
Check out the video of the stoppage below (Courtesy of Fancy Combat):