Former Ole Miss defensive end Greg Hardy reportedly will make his professional MMA debut during the Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series, sources confirmed to ESPN on Saturday following an initial report by MMA Today.
Hardy, 29, is 3-0 as an amateur and is expected to face Brandon Sayles (5-1) in a heavyweight bout for the show’s first episode of its upcoming season.
The former NFL Pro Bowl selection defeated Ryan Chester in 14.53 seconds during his last amateur fight, which took place at Legacy Fighting Alliance 33 in February.
— Pat Doney (@PatDoneyNBC5) February 17, 2018
Hardy, who signed with the Richmond Roughriders of the American Arena League in January, hasn’t played in the NFL since being released by the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 after several notable incidents, including a well-documented expunged domestic abuse charge, which was overlooked when the franchise signed him in free agency.
Hardy also had a slew of inappropriate tweets, frequent tardiness and was considered a bad influence on younger teammates prior to his demise in Dallas.
Hardy since has turned to MMA, training with American Top Team (Coconut Creek, Fla.), whose notable alumni include current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley (18-3-1), former UFC heavyweight champion Junior dos Santos (18-5) and former Bellator MMA competitor and current WWE superstar Bobby Lashley (15-2).
The upcoming fight will give Hardy the opportunity to showcase his skills in front of UFC brass, which should help his chances of joining the promotion in the future.