Former NFL Pro-Bowl defensive end Greg Hardy wants to make the move from the gridiron to the cage and compete in MMA. Great, how fast can we get him a fight?
Hardy, who just last season played for the Dallas Cowboys under a one-year contract, is currently sitting on the sidelines as a free agent. However, Hardy, who in 2013 was sent to the Pro Bowl for his 15 sack season with the Carolina Panthers isn’t sitting around praying for a team to take a chance on him. Instead he’s planning a jump to a new sport altogether and has expressed interest in competing in MMA (mixed martial arts).
— Greg Hardy (@GregHardyJr) October 14, 2016
I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career. I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.
Greg Hardy via MMAFighting.com
Why is it such a big deal that an NFL player wants to try out MMA? Well, he’s not just any NFL player; he’s an NFL player with a highly publicized and disturbing past to say the least. Hardy’s off the field issues have greatly overshadowed anything he’s done on it. Hardy missed nearly the entire 2014 season with the Panthers when he was involved in a domestic violence incident with an ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. He was originally convicted for assaulting her, but later the charges were dropped after she refused to testify during an appeal. He then went on to play for the Cowboys after serving a four-game suspension during the 2015 season.
More recently, as in last month, Hardy was arrested in Texas and charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Now, it’s one thing to judge someone accused of a disgusting act like domestic abuse before anything is substantiated or proven. But let’s be clear, he was actually convicted of assaulting and threatening Holder before it was later overturned when she didn’t testify during an appeal. So yeah, people have very strong feelings toward the guy. So much so that as soon as the story of him wanting to compete in MMA came out, Jay Glazer, MMA trainer and NFL Insider, let his feelings be known.
It’s pretty cut and dried, here. And I asked all my fellow MMA coaches not to give this guy a chance because he doesn’t deserve it. It’s a privilege to play this sport or play football, and we here at Unbreakable Performance, and I know other places I’ve worked, we actually train women to defend themselves against people like Greg Hardy and with threats to violence.
I’m not on my high horse here. It’s an art. It’s martial arts. It’s the art of self defense, is how it started – not so you could use it to be more aggressive and more violent.
Jay Glazer via “The Rich Eisen Show”
Glazer’s point has a lot of merit. Why would the sport of MMA want to welcome in someone like Hardy who is essentially looking to turn his issues with aggression and violence into a paycheck? That’s a very morally high stance and one plenty of people would agree with. Even myself, an avid MMA fan, cringes a little when thinking of Hardy stepping into a cage to put his violent tendencies on display.
However, I say give him a fight. Book him a fight (against a man this time), lock him in a cage, and let’s see how he does. After all, like Glazer points out, MMA isn’t exactly exempt from having a long list of athletes accused or convicted of similar acts. The UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), the world’s biggest MMA promotion, signed heavyweight Cody East earlier this year and he brought with him a long list of legal issues, including convictions for battery and child abuse. So if you aren’t going to get rid of all of them and make a big statement against allowing people with checkered pasts to compete in the sport, why single out Hardy?
If nothing else, karma will ensue and plenty of people will get to see what they’ve been wanting to see for a while.
How do you feel about it? Do you want to see Hardy compete in MMA?