News dropped that former NFL star and Dallas defensive end Greg Hardy was making the move to mixed martial arts on Tuesday. A top athlete, and still only 28 years old, the idea of Hardy putting his considerable gifts to work in the cage would normally have people buzzing about the potential for new blood in the heavyweight division. However, Hardy doesn't just bring off the charts athleticism with him but a very checkered past as well.
In May of 2014, Hardy was arrested on domestic violence charges after allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend, Nicole Holder. Holder's account of the incident is harrowing, including several instances where Hardy threatened to kill her. Hardy was initially found guilty of assaulting a female and sentenced to 18 months probation and a suspended 60 day stint in jail. On appeal, his charges were dismissed as Holder failed to appear in court for the jury trial after reportedly settling her civil suit against Hardy.
These legal troubles spilled over onto the field for Hardy and the one-time Pro Bowl defensive end missed all but one game of the 2014 season and was suspended another four games for the 2015 season. He played the remaining 12 games for the Dallas Cowboys but was not resigned this summer and has remained an unsigned free agent since. Now, Hardy is putting football behind him to move on to MMA and many in the MMA community aren't happy about it.
One of the most unhappy is Fox Sports NFL Insider and occasional UFC analyst/host Jay Glazer. Glazer has a long history with MMA including two professional fights of his own and in 2014 he opened Unbreakable Performance Center gym which, among other things, cross trains many professional athletes in the various disciplines of MMA. Yesterday, Glazer spoke with TMZ Sports to reaffirm comments he made on Twitter hoping that the MMA community at large would shun Greg Hardy from the sport.
"If you play a sport it's a privilege and he shouldn't have that privilege. He's shown no remorse. This guy just doesn't get it. [MMA] is not for people who beat up women and show no remorse. Like I said, it's a privilege and he has done nothing to earn that right and earn that privilege...It's self-defense, not to go use it - somebody like that should not go learn more so he can use it in the wrong way.
"So I'm asking every other MMA coach and promotion to not allow this guy to have the privilege. He doesn't deserve it. All he's done is beat the hell out of a woman and show no remorse for it so screw him. He shouldn't be allowed to be around the other great people in this sport. There are incredible people in this sport, great fighters who stand up for the right things, most of the coaches stand up for the right things. This is a sport where you're melting together arts, what I think are beautiful arts. A guy like Hardy has not earned the privilege to be part of this sport."
Hardy will hardly be the first MMA fighter to have a troubled past or the stain of domestic violence attached to him. There are dozens of instances of current and former fighters who have been convicted or accused of domestic violence including several prominent UFC fighters. In July of last year, HBO Real Sports even did an investigative piece where they determined that the rate of domestic violence among MMA fighters is over twice that of the general population, citing that there are around 360 domestic violence arrests for every 100,000 men nationally but among male MMA fighters that number jumps up to 750.
It's unlikely that any of this will stand in the way of Greg Hardy's future MMA career or Glazer's request will be supported by the various gyms and promoters in the sport. The Hardy news was covered by all the major media outlets and figures to maintain a certain level of importance going forward, importance that MMA trainers and promoters can leverage into dollars.
For his part, Hardy seems just to want to move forward with his life and there's at least one prominent MMA champion with supportive words with UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic saying that he "wishes nothing but the best for him."
Hardy is expected to make his MMA debut sometime in 2017.
Duck. Michael Bisping says he's not ducking "that douchebag" Chris Weidman.
Quit. Daniel Cormier believes even Anthony Johnson's coaches expected Rumble to quit.
Problems. Miesha Tate warns that Amanda Nunes could be a huge problem if Ronda Rousey returns with a "half-ass mentality."
Another one. Former NFL star Greg Hardy is making the jump to MMA.
Tommy on Conor's fine.
Rogan on Conor-Eddie.
Floyd talking about Conor and Dana White.
Brit Pack octagon side.
Anik and Flo
I spoke with Mookie Alexander about UFC 204, scoring the main event, Platinum Mike Perry, and Greg Hardy.
Awesome and strange that MMA is on the leading frontier of LGBT athletes.
Hella Gay for You ️ #workoutoftheday #nationalcomingoutday #lgbt #lovewins #myqueen #workoutbuddies @tomboyx #TeamRocky #TeamTiny pic.twitter.com/2dPdQ3y0BW— Tecia Torres (@TeciaTorres) October 11, 2016
Concur. Won't ever happen though.
I of all people know that Dom loves to talk, but this would be a fight to watch.https://t.co/C3RaDGSVEM— michael (@bisping) October 11, 2016
This is how you know he isn't getting the chance to play football, not that he super wants to fight MMA.
Greg Hardy's one-year Cowboys deal was for $13.1 million. Made about $8.8 million. Or roughly the equivalent of 32,847 MMA fights.— RJ Clifford (@RJcliffordMMA) October 11, 2016
USADA never sleeps.
USADA WHY 6:25am!!!!!?— Tyron T-Wood Woodley (@TWooodley) October 11, 2016
I think some community service will do him some good. Glad to see Connor owning what he did. #respecthttps://t.co/GJDugp1vCz— Dan Henderson (@danhendo) October 11, 2016
Might want some time off after that fight.
Ready to fight again in December! I love this shit ! #UFC @danawhite— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) October 11, 2016
Doesn't look like he got KO'd.
I'm so fresh and so driven pic.twitter.com/dT4uiWGQ3a— Conor McGregor (@TheNotoriousMMA) October 11, 2016
Sam Alvey (28-8-0) vs. Alex Nicholson (7-2-0); UFC Fight Night 98, November 5.
Smealinho Rama (9-2-0) vs. Kevin Sears (4-2-0); WSOF 34, November 12.
Linton Vassell (16-5-0) vs. Francis Carmont (25-11-0); Bellator 165, November 19.
Brandon Girtz (14-4-0) vs. Adam Piccolotti (8-0-0); Bellator 165, November 19.
Dan Hooker (13-6-0) vs. Jason Knight (14-2-0); UFC Fight Night 101, November 27.
Aljamain Sterling (12-1-0) vs. Raphael Assuncao (23-5-0); UFC Fight Night 102, December 9.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2006: Hermes Franca submitted Nate Diaz with an armbar to retain his WEC lightweight championship at WEC 24. It is (so far) the only submission loss of Diaz's career.
2012: Eddie Alvarez knocked out Patricky Freire with a head kick in the main event of Bellator 76. The win set him up for a title shot against Michael Chandler.
Give a listen to my podcast up above. Me and Mookie talk about Greg Hardy and scoring fights and all manner of nonsense. I love to hear any feedback you've got on it.
We're halfway through the week y'all. Keep it easy and we'll see each other tomorrow.
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