Former Panthers, Cowboys lineman Greg Hardy to make MMA debut

Former Panthers, Cowboys lineman Greg Hardy to make MMA debut

Former NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy is set to make his MMA debut in June, according to an ESPN report.

The 29-year-old is reportedly close to being signed to an exclusive contract this summer.

Hardy will make his heavyweight debut on the “Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series” on June 12, according to ESPN, citing sources.

Hardy has a 3-0 amateur record.

The DWTNCS includes several live fights in Las Vegas. White and UFC matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard agreed to at least one multi-fight deal with the UFC after each episode.

Hardy will reportedly meet Brandon Sayles (5-1) in the first episode of the season, according to MMA Today.

Hardy recorded 15 sacks for the Carolina Panthers during the 2013 season. He played five seasons with the Panthers, but only in one game in 2014 before being placed on the commissioner’s exempt list following a domestic violence incident in North Carolina in May 2014.

Hardy was convicted on charges of domestic violence in a bench trial by a judge. After an appeal, the case was thrown out in February 2015 when the woman who accused him stopped cooperating with authorities.

The NFL suspended Hardy for the first 10 games of the 2015 season on grounds that he violated the league’s personal conduct policy. After an appeal, the ban was reduced to four games.

Signed to a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy registered 35 tackles, six sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in 12 contests in 2015. That was his last year in the league.

Hardy also was arrested in 2016 on a charge of cocaine possession and reached a plea deal on a misdemeanor.

Hardy began training at a Dallas-area gymnasium with hopes of making his MMA debut in 2017.

“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” Hardy told MMAFighting.com in 2016. “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”

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