Troubled Ex-NFL Star Greg Hardy to Make Pro MMA Debut on Dana White’s Contender Series

By Tristen Critchfield Apr 21, 2018

With just three amateur bouts under his belt, former NFL star Greg Hardy will get an opportunity to earn a UFC contract in his first professional fight.

According to a report by MMA Today, Hardy will face Brandon Sayles in a heavyweight matchup at Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series on June 12 in Las Vegas. The Contender Series debuted last summer with eight five-bout events. Competitors who had the most impressive performances received UFC contracts at the end of each card.

Hardy, who trains at American Top Team, has earned a trio of first-round stoppages in his first three amateur appearances. Most recently, he garnered a 14-second TKO win over Ryan Chester at Legacy Fighting Alliance 33 on Feb. 16. A native of Fort Benning, Ga., Sayles owns a 5-1 career professional mark.

During his tenure in the NFL, Hardy was one of the top pass rushers in football, earning second-team all pro honors in 2013 with the Carolina Panthers after finishing with 15 sacks. However, in July 2014 Hardy was found guilty of assaulting his ex-girlfriend and missed the majority of the season after being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list. He was sentenced to 18 months’ probation, but charges from the case were later dropped, and Hardy’s record was expunged.

Hardy was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2015 season as well, but that was later reduced to four games by an arbitrator, and Hardy finished the campaign with the Dallas Cowboys, although he remained a controversial figure throughout the season. He went unsigned as a free agent the following offseason, opening the door for him to transition to an MMA career.

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