Former NFL star Greg Hardy makes his professional MMA debut tonight on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Episode 9, facing Austen Lane.
There has been some criticism aimed UFC President Dana White’s way for bringing in Hardy after the former NFL player was arrested on domestic violence charges against his ex-girlfriend in 2014, and was later found guilty of assaulting a female and making communicating threats. All the charges were later dropped after Hardy appealed the ruling, with his record also being expunged. So White is now defending the decision to bring the controversial fighter on the “contender series” by saying Hardy was never charged with anything.
“I guess he had a real bad drug and alcohol problem. Started to get into MMA. Cleaned himself up. If you talk to anybody he trains with, male or female, they say that he’s a very good guy. He’s very humble. Everybody deserves a second chance. And the guy was never charged with anything, he was never sentenced or anything like that. We’re going to give him a shot,” White said at the UFC 225 post-fight press conference.
The problem was that Hardy actually did get charged and arrested for the aforementioned crimes, but the appeals process saw the charges dropped and the record expunged.
Hardy, in the fighters own defense, just wants to have people get to known him before passing their own judgments.
“Get to know me first,” Hardy told reporters at a media scrum. “Meet me would be a good start. Talk to me, and give me the opportunity that you would give anybody else. Look forward to watching me on TV. Come out and enjoy the event - whether it’s to see me get beat up or to see me excel - and then make a decision or make your opinion and I’ll respect it as a human being. That’s honestly where I have to come from on any platform these days because that’s the reality that I have to live in.”
Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series Episode 9 takes place tonight from the TUF Gym in Las Vegas, Nevada with Alonzo Menifeld and Dashawn Boatwright headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which streams live on UFC Fight Pass.