Former NFL Pro Bowl linebacker Greg Hardy will make his amateur MMA debut against Joe Hawkins at Rise of a Warrior 21 in Florida
Former Pro Bowl linebacker turned convicted felon Greg Hardy is set make his amateur mixed martial arts debut in November.
The troubled star previously announced his intentions of focusing on the combat sport last year, leading to his involvement with the highly acclaimed American Top Team gym in Coconut Creak, Florida. However, neither an opponent or date had been announced.
“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” said Hardy. “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.
“I’m fully committed to being as successful as I can be in this sport.”
But now, responding to a fan, Hardy revealed he will make his amateur debut at Rise of a Warrior 21 on Nov. 4 in Virginia.
In terms of his past NFL career, Hardy has not been seen on the gridiron since his 2015 campaign with the Dallas Cowboys. During the season, which was little more than a 12-game tryout, Hardy recorded six sacks. He had previously put together back-to-back seasons of 15 and 11 sacks during his time with the Carolina Panthers, which earned him his only Pro Bowl selection.
However, in his final season in Carolina, Hardy found his name in the headlines for all the wrong reason after being convicted of assaulting his girlfriend. According to police reports, Hardy threatened to kill her before throwing her onto a pile of assault rifles.
As a result, the NFL handed him a 10-game suspension. But even after sitting out in his punishment, Panthers management chose not resign the controversial figure. While the Cowboys eventually gave Hardy a second chance, they too chose not to re-sign him following the 2015 season.
Now, as an MMA fighter, Hardy will step into the cage opposite fellow heavyweight Joe Hawkins at the Havert L. Fenn Center in Fort Pierce, Fla.