Greg Hardy Explains Why He Deserves A Second Chance
Greg Hardy feels like he deserves a second chance.
The former NFL defensive standout, who left the league amid drug and domestic violence charges, will compete this week on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series at a shot to earn a UFC contract.
And while Hardy is undefeated as an amateur, many are concerned with his criminal history, which involves him throwing his ex-girlfriend on to a bed covered in guns.
“Get to know me first,” Hardy told reporters and those who have judged him during a media scrum on Monday.
“Meet me would be a good start. Talk to me, and give me the opportunity that you would give anybody else. Look forward to watching me on TV. Come out and enjoy the event – whether it’s to see me get beat up or to see me excel – and then make a decision or make your opinion and I’ll respect it as a human being. That’s honestly where I have to come from on any platform these days because that’s the reality that I have to live in.”
In 2014, Hardy was arrested for allegedly assaulting a former girlfriend and threats against her life. He was convicted of domestic violence, but the charges would be expunged from his record following appeal. Hardy would yield a 10 game suspension after violating the NFL’s conduct policy after an investigation concluded that Hardy had used physical force on four occasions with the victim, he would only serve four.
“I’m unafraid [to talk about it],” Hardy said. “I don’t know if everybody’s familiar with my history, but I’ve never been afraid to talk, or be in the spotlight. This is what I do. This is who I am. I was born to compete, I was born to be here. I put in the work, I work harder than everybody else, and I try to just put my best foot forward and do it for my team and do it for everybody that helped me get here.
“Honestly it’s just the burden that comes with it. Who am I to question fans? These are the people that pay my salary so they have the right to have opinions, they have the right to be who they are. Me being biased towards those people would be me being exactly who they think I am and honestly, that’s not who I am. . .
“There’s a whole lot of levels of understanding when you don’t know a person, when you don’t know any of the facts. But I do understand people do have their own opinions and if you don’t respect people’s opinions, that’s just Hitler-esque.”
Hardy transitioned to MMA in 2017, and began training with American Top Team. He would quickly amass a 3-0 record inside the cage as an amateur, with a total fight time of two minutes and twenty two seconds. Hardy told reporters that he wants to prove that he deserves this level of opportunity.
“You’ve got to go through the steps and you’ve got to put in the work. In my former profession, that’s how you gain respect. You take your steps, you don’t skip through and try to go straight to the top, that’s just disrespectful. I want to come in and I want to show the fighters and the institution that I’m here to earn it and work my way up. I’m not here to say my name is Greg Hardy and I deserve a shot, or I’m not trying to ‘CM Punk’ my way into the situation. I don’t think I should be there because of my name. I want people to know that I should be there because they’ve seen the fights, they’ve seen the product and there is no guessing game. . .
“I am here because Dana White is an angel, a saint that gave me the opportunity to come and put my best foot forward. I honestly couldn’t begin to explain why, I can only just express my appreciation and my gratitude for the opportunity to be here and show what kind of athlete I am.”
Hardy’s opponent Austen Lane, a fellow former NFL defensive lineman, headline the first episode of the second season of the Contender Series on UFC FightPass.