Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy continues to work towards his MMA career.
If you recall, Hardy was able to score his first victory as a cage fighter in early November and returned in December for his second first-round knockout in MMA competition. He has made great strides in MMA after making the decision to start training with American Top Team.
In his first two bouts, the opponents he has faced has yet to offer Hardy legitimate competition. By looking at the history books, his total fight time has been 2:08. Hardy has looked good inside the cage, but against overmatched fighters who were not prepared for his athleticism.
His latest fight came back in February at LFA 33 in Dallas where he made his promotional debut by scoring a knock out over Ryan Chester in 14 seconds in a heavyweight preliminary bout.
Hardy does have a history of domestic violence that started back in 2014 when he was arrested for allegedly assaulting a former girlfriend and communicating threats against her life.
As a result, he was convicted of domestic violence but after an appeal, the charges were eventually expunged from his record
The NFL launched an investigation and it revealed that Hardy had used physical force on four occasions with the victim. Now, Hardy stated that part of his life is over now and he wants to move forward in MMA.
“Get to know me first,” Hardy told reporters at a media scrum on Monday (transcript courtesy of MMA Fighting). “Meet me would be a good start. Talk to me, and give me the opportunity that you would give anybody else. Look forward to watching me on TV. Come out and enjoy the event – whether it’s to see me get beat up or to see me excel – and then make a decision or make your opinion and I’ll respect it as a human being. That’s honestly where I have to come from on any platform these days because that’s the reality that I have to live in.”
“I’m unafraid [to talk about it],” Hardy said. “I don’t know if everybody’s familiar with my history, but I’ve never been afraid to talk, or be in the spotlight. This is what I do. This is who I am. I was born to compete, I was born to be here. I put in the work, I work harder than everybody else, and I try to just put my best foot forward and do it for my team and do it for everybody that helped me get here.
“Honestly it’s just the burden that comes with it. Who am I to question fans? These are the people that pay my salary so they have the right to have opinions, they have the right to be who they are. Me being biased towards those people would be me being exactly who they think I am and honestly, that’s not who I am. There’s a whole lot of levels of understanding when you don’t know a person, when you don’t know any of the facts. But I do understand people do have their own opinions and if you don’t respect people’s opinions, that’s just Hitler-esque.”
Hardy has his next fight lined up, which will see him take on Austen Lane, also a former NFL defensive lineman, at the first event of season two of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series tonight (June 12, 2018) on UFC Fight Pass.
“You’ve got to go through the steps and you’ve got to put in the work. In my former profession, that’s how you gain respect. You take your steps, you don’t skip through and try to go straight to the top, that’s just disrespectful. I want to come in and I want to show the fighters and the institution that I’m here to earn it and work my way up. I’m not here to say my name is Greg Hardy and I deserve a shot, or I’m not trying to ‘CM Punk’ my way into the situation. I don’t think I should be there because of my name. I want people to know that I should be there because they’ve seen the fights, they’ve seen the product and there is no guessing game. . .
“I am here because Dana White is an angel, a saint that gave me the opportunity to come and put my best foot forward. I honestly couldn’t begin to explain why, I can only just express my appreciation and my gratitude for the opportunity to be here and show what kind of athlete I am.”