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Former NFL player Greg Hardy released by UFC

Matt Johnson
Greg Hardy
Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Former NFL player Greg Hardy is looking for work once again after UFC decided to part ways with him following his latest first-round knockout loss.

Hardy, age 33, pursued a mixed martial arts career after off-field issues led to NFL teams no longer wanting him. The 6-foot-5 athlete was arrested for domestic assault in 2014, with his ex-girlfriend accusing Hardy accused of grabbing her, throwing her onto the bed and threatening to kill her.

A judge found him guilty of assault and communicating threats and sentenced him to more than a month in prison. When Hardy appealed and requested a jury trial, the victim didn’t appear in court to testify and charges were dropped.

While Hardy resumed his NFL career following a four-game suspension – reduced from an original 10-game ban– his NFL career ended after the 2015 season with the Dallas Cowboys. He was later arrested for cocaine possession in September 2016.

Hardy began preparation for his MMA career in October 2016, making his amateur debut a year later with a first-round knockout. In April 2018, he was awarded a UFC contract after knocking out former NFL player Austen Lane.

  • Greg Hardy UFC record: 7-4

Hardy won four of his first five UFC fights, winning each of them in the first round. However, there was controversy along the way. He received a no-contest result in 2019 for using an inhaler during a bout and he had issues with weigh-ins.

“What a run, ya boy is far from done just got some fine tuning to do. Thank you to all my fans and haters. I appreciate you all. Mostly i appreciate my coaches, family, and the @ufc for giving me the opportunity to shine bright”

Greg Hardy on UFC ending his contract, via Instagram

Hardy fought Marcin Tybura at UFC Fight Night on Dec. 19, 2020, and suffered a second-round knockout. A few months later, Tai Tuivasa knocked him out after 67 seconds at UFC 264. Following a third consecutive knockout loss, this time to Serghei Spivac at UFC 272 on March 5, UFC terminated Hardy’s contract.

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With both the NFL and UFC now off the table, it’s unclear exactly what Hardy will be doing next.