Former Dallas Cowboys DE Greg Hardy has left football to pursue a career in mixed martial arts.
According to MMAFighting.com’s Ariel Helwani, the former Ole Miss defensive lineman has been training in the Dallas-Fort Worth area for several months, and a number of sponsors are already interested in signing him.
“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” Hardy said in a statement. “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”
Hardy was not re-signed by the Cowboys after last season, and no other NFL team signed him to a contract. The former Pro Bowl defensive end was found guilty of assault against his ex-girlfriend by a judge in 2014.
Hardy appealed for a jury trial and his accuser did not appear in court, leading the prosecutor to drop the charges. He missed the entire 2014 season on the NFL exempt list and was suspended for the first four games of 2015 under the NFL personal conduct policy.
Last month, Hardy was arrested on charges of cocaine possession in the Dallas area.
Hardy says he currently weighs 285 pounds and will be fighting as a heavyweight for his first fight, which will probably be in 2017.
“I’m fully committed to being as successful as I can be in this sport,” Hardy said.