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Ex-NFL, UFC athlete Greg Hardy to make professional boxing debut

Hardy to Box!
Publish Date: 06/06/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Greg Hardy is beginning a new journey in his sports career just under three months after joining the UFC.

On Sunday, the controversial heavyweight confirmed his professional debut in Delray Beach, Florida, on October 8th. He didn’t say whom he was fighting with at a Black Sheep Boxing event at the Delray Beach Tennis Center. Hardy’s attendance was not immediately confirmed by the promotion.

“When you got the dream locked in your sights and all you have to do is pull the trigger,” Hardy wrote on Instagram.

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Hardy, a 33-year-old former NFL player for the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, made his Mixed Martial Arts debut in 2017 and has since become one of the sport’s most popular stars. After a perfect 3-0 record in amateur competition, “The Prince of War” made the leap to the professional ranks on the premiere episode of Season 2 of Dana White’s Contender Series. He knocked out fellow NFL alum Austen Lane with a TKO in 57 seconds to secure a deal with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.

Controversial start in UFC career

He returned to the DWCS less than two months later and beat Tebaris Gordon through TKO in 17 seconds. UFC contract Hardy signed after another professional win in 2018 under the Xtreme Fight Night banner before starting his official debut in 2019. The signing of Hardy to the UFC was criticized because of allegations of domestic violence against him in the past.

Even though the case was thrown out after he filed an appeal and the victim didn’t show up to court, Hardy’s time in the UFC got off to a rocky start almost right away. In his first fight, he landed an illegal knee in the second round and was disqualified. He then won two fights by knockout before beating Ben Sosoli by unanimous decision, which was later changed to a “No Contest” because Hardy used an inhaler between rounds.

The increased difficulty of Hardy’s opponents made it difficult for him to maintain his early success in the UFC, which included a 4-2 record. A second opportunity was promised by White, while Hardy promised to win over the audience. However, after his TKO loss against Serghei Spivac on March 5th, the UFC decided not to sign Hardy to a new contract. He left the UFC with a record of 4-5. Check out the best bookmakers for betting on Boxing.

New opportunity in boxing

Shortly before his UFC 272 main card ESPN pay-per-view bout against Spivak, Hardy announced his intention to attempt boxing as a third sport. Boxing is yet another discipline in which Hardy would like to try himself, however, the American appears to want to skip at a lower level to see if he can triumph in it.

“I’ll still do MMA because that gold is in my mind and in my heart,” Hardy said. “Deontay Wilder … I’m not ready for Tyson Fury yet. Anthony Joshua … I’d love to get in the ring and slap them boys up. Even [Jarrell] ‘Big Baby’ Miller.”

Fury is the top heavyweight boxer and has defended his WBC title against Dillian Whyte in London in April. Miller has not fought since 2018, however, he has been involved in multiple performance-enhancing drug scandals.

When combined with his quickness, Hardy’s proficiency with his fists has the chance to result in a number of explosive finishes. Without the possibility of a takedown, these skills will have a greater opportunity to emerge.

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