- Brandon Wade/AP
Free agent defensive end Greg Hardy is attempting to transition to a career in MMA, Ariel Helwani of MMAFighting.com reported on Tuesday.
According to Helwani, Hardy has been training for the past several months in the Dallas-Fort Worth Area, though he does not have any mixed martial arts background. Hardy’s team told Helwani that several promotions have already expressed interest in signing the controversial former NFL player.
“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.”
Hardy has not played in the NFL since 2015. Dallas picked him up after his stint in Carolina ended unceremoniously following an allegation of domestic violence. Although the charges against Hardy were eventually dropped, he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list and missed 15 games in 2014. He was eventually suspended 10 games as a result of the incident, which was reduced to a four-game suspension that he served last year in Dallas.
In September, Hardy was arrested in Texas on charges of cocaine possession.
According to Helwani, Hardy weighs 285 pounds and is expected to debut as a heavyweight when he fights for the first time, likely in 2017.
“I’m fully committed to being as successful as I can be in this sport,” he said in the statement.
Only time will tell whether Hardy’s MMA career will actually come to fruition. For now, we can at least view this news as a definitive sign that his NFL career is officially over.