Greg Hardy Talks Switch to MMA
One of the biggest MMA surprises of 2016 came when news broke that controversial NFL player Greg Hardy was planning to transition to mixed-martial-arts. Months later, Hardy has spoken out about his continued plans to begin a successful fighting career and the way that MMA has helped him as a person.
Hardy’s Pro Bowl career as a defensive end in the NFL was marred by domestic violence allegations and a number of arrests for drug possession.
When it was announced that Hardy was looking to become an MMA fighter, the news was met with controversy. Many in the sport didn’t believe that an MMA promotion should sign Hardy because of his domestic violence history. Though he hasn’t been signed by an MMA promotion yet, Hardy is represented by well-known manager Malki Kawa and trains at American Top Team in Florida.
“It’s helped me a lot of ways,” Hardy said Monday on The MMA Hour. “I have a lot of problems as a human being. It’s not something that you do, just walking around saying ‘I’m perfect’ or ‘I’m good.’ Man, I have a lot of different issues that I’m definitely working through and working on. I would say this helps me channel everything. It helps me just come back down to Earth, be humble, because these are machines that I see everyday. I get choked out, punched in the face, and laid out on the mat daily, and that’s not something that a guy my size and my stature with my history has every come across.
“It’s a humbling experience, man,” he continued. “Actually, it’s making me really appreciative of everything that I’ve had and everything that I have, and the opportunity that I have to kinda come in and show myself as a guy that is not what everybody says on TV, or, ‘he’s not a monster, he’s not a killer, a women beater,’ this, that and the other. It gives me an opportunity to just come in, be a humble guy, and learn, and honestly just be at the feet of all these champions who walk around like they’re just normal guys … and have the opportunity to make myself better one more time, one last time in sports and life in general.”
Hardy expressed regret for the way that he handled the controversial aspects of his life that did much to destroy his public image. Now that he is pursuing an MMA career, he is inspired by the way that the sport’s top stars handle themselves and the discipline necessary to be a top talent in the sport. He even draws some comparisons between MMA champions and Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks.
“Honestly, I believe there’s standards that everybody has,” Hardy said. “For (Tyron) Woodley and Tom Brady, there’s standards for champions. There’s standards for Pro Bowl players. There’s standards for the people who put themselves up there athletically in a good way, so there should be standards. You shouldn’t be out at night. Things like that. God gives you opportunities and chances, and you make those decisions and choices. Every decision and choice I’ve made, I have made it.”