A quarter of the way through the NFL season, former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy, who’s only three years removed from a 15-sack season, is still a free agent. Despite a skill set that would be welcome on any team, Hardy’s toxic personality has resulted in the entire NFL declaring itself done with the 28-year-old.
Now Hardy has declared himself done with the NFL, at least for the time being. According to MMAFighting, Hardy has begun his transition to MMA and has been training for several months. "I'm very focused and excited to start my MMA career," Hardy said in a statement. "I'm going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that."
His representatives tell MMA Fighting that several promotions have already expressed interest in bringing him on, though none are named. Whoever does hire Hardy will be getting an employee with loads of baggage.
Hardy was, quite notoriously, at the center of a domestic violence case in 2014. The charges were eventually dropped, but thanks to photos published by Deadspin, he was convicted in the court of public opinion. Hardy’s lack of remorse and continued disrespect of women after the incident, hurt him even further.
Most recently, Hardy was arrested for cocaine possession after getting pulled over in late September. Hardy told police that someone had given him the bag of cocaine found in his car and that he didn’t even know what it was.
While the NFL has blacklisted Hardy, that’s not likely to happen in MMA. Not because the NFL is somehow morally superior to fight promotions, but because the spotlight shines brighter on football teams.
Which is to say, Hardy isn’t in the NFL because of the criticism teams would take, not because teams don’t want him.
What remains to be seen is if Hardy actually follows through on his pledge to become a fighter, especially when he finds out he's going to have to trade blows with men.