Following a brutal, first-round knockout in his professional debut on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, former NFL player Greg Hardy, has been awarded what you call a developmental contract with the UFC.
His opponent in his first professional outing, Austen Lane, is a former football player as well in the NFL, but he was simply no match for the size, athleticism, and power of Greg Hardy.
According to Hardy in an interview with ESPN after being awarded his contract,
“It’s awesome news. I get an opportunity to show what I’ve got, go back and work hard and come back even better than before. It’s exciting. It’s everything I could ask for. I just want to get back in the ring. Whatever show it is, I just want another opportunity to fight. Man, I’m having the time of my life and really enjoying it.”
As previously stated, Hardy has been awarded what you call a ‘developmental contract’, which means he still may have to fight a few more times in smaller promotions before you see him compete on a big UFC PPV or Fight Night card anytime soon.
Hardy believes he is ready for the big show now, though, like he also told ESPN following his big win and contract signing,
“I’m ready for the big show. I train with the best gym in the world, and I have full confidence and faith that those guys are there to get me ready for whatever comes next.”
With Hardy now training with the American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, which is indeed certainly one of the best gyms in the world, the sky is truly the limit for an athlete the calibre of Hardy, and this brutal knockout seen in the video below may only be a glimpse of the things to come from the former Dallas Cowboy’s defensive end.
But it is not all sunshine and rainbows for Greg Hardy, who has a very troubled past which includes some pretty serious domestic violence allegations (though no conviction), and many in the MMA community feel that the UFC is in the wrong by giving a guy like Hardy a chance after those kinds of allegations.
However, according to UFC President Dana White at the UFC 225 post-fight press conference, as per MMA Weekly, “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. The guy was never charged with anything, he was never sentenced or anything like that. We’re going to give him a shot.”
As previously stated, Hardy, who went 3-0 as an amateur, is clearly an elite-level athlete with enormous potential, but is the MMA world ready to give him a second chance?
Check out his blistering knockout in his professional debut in the video below.
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