Former National Football League defensive lineman Greg Hardy, who made waves by scoring an emphatic knockout in his professional mixed martial arts debut last week, injured his knee during an arena football game on Saturday night, ESPN reports.
Hardy had competed on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contenders Series earlier in the week, blasting fellow ex-football player Austen Lane in a mere 57 seconds. The impressive performance earned praise from Ultimate Fighting Championship President White, as well as a public appeal for the controversial fighter to receive a “second chance” from fans.
Hardy’s All-Pro football career was derailed by a highly-publicized 2014 domestic violence incident that ended in his conviction, then exoneration on appeal when the alleged victim declined to testify in the second trial. With no NFL team willing to hire him after being released the following year by the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy turned to arena football as well as mixed martial arts.
The former NFL star currently plays for the Richmond Roughriders in the American Arena League, and sustained the injury in the first quarter against the Carolina Energy.
White had stated he wanted Hardy back in the cage as soon as possible following his quick knockout, but that seems less likely in light of Saturday’s developments. Hardy is expected to have his knee examined within the next few days to determine the severity of the injury.