NFL teams are staying clear of controversial defensive end Greg Hardy (pictured) because he comes with extensive baggage, which includes allegedly beating his former girlfriend, so Hardy will now look to beat up men inside the cage.
According to MMAFighting.com, Hardy has put his NFL career on hold to pursue mixed martial arts.
“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” Hardy expressed in a statement released to the website Tuesday. “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”
According to the report, Hardy has been training MMA for several months. Multiple promotions have expressed interest in bringing on the troubled 28-year-old despite not having any experience in the sport.
It is unknown if the UFC, the planet’s premier MMA organization, is interested in inking Hardy.
Hardy would compete in the heavyweight division.
Hardy has essentially been blackballed by the NFL. He was pulled over in September for failure to signal on a left turn. Upon searching his vehicle, officers discovered cocaine and an item containing marijuana remnants. He was arrested and released the following day on $5,000 bond.
The biggest black mark on Hardy’s rap sheet is a 2014 domestic violence charge where he was accused of manhandling ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder. The charges were eventually dropped, however photos were subsequently leaked onto the Internet that showed bruising to her back, jaw and feet.
Hardy, who was coming off a Pro Bowl season for the Carolina Panthers after tallying 15 sacks, was moved to the exempt/commissioner’s permission list for the remainder of the 2014 season after playing just one game. Hardy still pocketed his entire $13.1 million salary, however.
The Dallas Cowboys rolled the dice on Hardy the following season on a one-year, $13.1 million deal, of which he only collected $8.8 million because he was suspended the first four games for the domestic violence incident. He registered six sacks through 12 games for the Cowboys.
A dozen games were enough for the Cowboys, as they cut ties with Hardy after the season. No NFL teams have expressed interest in bringing the talented, yet controversial, Hardy in since.