• Andrew Starc

Greg Hardy's 5 best (and worst) moments in the UFC and NFL

Greg Hardy's journey from NFL defensive linesman to UFC heavyweight has been chaotic, to say the least.

The former Dallas Cowboys player entered the UFC in 2019, seeking redemption for a troubled history – one that saw his promising NFL career cut short.

A product of Dana White's Contender Series, Hardy has shown glimpses of potential in the UFC, largely thanks to his standout athleticism and devastating power.

However a series of in-octagon blunders, and the looming spectre of his controversial past, have made the 'Prince of War' a figure of hate for many.

Let's take a look at the best and worst moments of Greg Hardy's UFC and NFL careers.

1. Greg Hardy earns a no-contest after using an inhaler

In his fourth UFC fight against Ben Sosoli in October 2019, Hardy did something never seen before in the octagon.

Between rounds two and three, the former NFL star and noted asthmatic whips out an inhaler. Telling the ring-side Massachusetts State Athletic Commission inspector that it's USADA approved, he takes a few casual puffs.

Hardy ends up winning by unanimous decision. A few hours later, however, it was declared a no-contest by MSAC. As it turns out, the ring-side inspector did not have the authority to approve the use of the inhaler.

Hardy was spared a disqualification, and therefore a loss, thanks to his asking the inspector for permission to use the inhaler.

2. Greg Hardy introduces himself as 'Kraken' from 'Hogwarts'

There's been some entertaining Sunday Night Football introductions in recent years.

If you're unfamiliar with the NFL, it's a pre-game ritual where players are given the spotlight to introduce themselves and share their alma mater.

Playing for the Carolina Panthers in 2013, Hardy – wearing shades – took the opportunity to introduce himself as "Kraken," alma mater "Hogwarts," the School of Magic from Harry Potter.

For the reader's edification, the 'Kraken' is an enormous sea creature from Norse mythology, made popular by The Pirates of the Caribbean. And Hardy's alma mater is actually The University of Mississippi, or Ole Miss.

"It’s just the Kraken. Mystical. It’s where he lives at," said Hardy when asked to explain his nickname by media.

"I can do whatever I want. I’m the Kraken. If you feel like you can ask the Kraken personally where he goes to school at, and prove me wrong, then I feel like I’ll change it."

3. Greg Hardy disqualified in UFC debut for illegal knee

Greg Hardy entered the UFC full of promise, having impressed on Dana White's Contender Series with two first-minute TKO wins. He was still learning the ins and outs of MMA, however.

In his UFC debut against Allen Crowder in January 2019, the 'Prince of War' was dominating before he landed an illegal knee to his opponent's temple. Crowder's knees had been on the ground when Hardy landed the blow.

Cageside doctors declared Crowder unfit to continue, and referee Dan Miragliotta called the bout off, resulting in a victory to Crowder. Hardy was booed by fans, with chants of "asshole, asshole" ringing around the venue.

"I was aware of the rule as it stands; I was not aware that that was what was going on. I got deep into the fight, was in the moment, was trying to time it -- and I mistimed it," said Hardy post-fight.

4. Greg Hardy holds his own against Alexander Volkov

For someone who only started practicing MMA in his late 20's, and entered the UFC with only three professional fights, Greg Hardy has done pretty well.

Perhaps the best performance of his career thus far was against Russian giant Alexander Volkov.

While Hardy lost via unanimous decision, he ably stood his ground and was never put in any real danger by 37-fight veteran Volkov. It was only Hardy's eighth fight, despite being the same age as the Russian.

Watch full video of Alexander Volkov vs Greg Hardy below:

5. Greg Hardy is charged with domestic violence

Lastly, and perhaps most notably, is Greg Hardy's troubling history of domestic violence.

In 2014, the then Carolina Panthers player was arrested after allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend. According to the victim, Hardy grabbed her, threw her into furniture, strangled her, and made death threats.

“He looked me in my eyes and he told me he was going to kill me. I was so scared I wanted to die. When he loosened his grip slightly, I said just,'Do it. Kill me,'" said Hardy's victim in court testimony.

"I have bruises from head to toe, including my head, neck, back, shoulders arms, legs, elbow and feet."

In court, Hardy was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months' probation. He was cleared of all charges on appeal after the victim failed to appear in court to testify. It's believed she reached an out-of-court settlement with Hardy.

The NFL found Hardy guilty of "a significant act of violence," handing him a ten-game suspension. He was cut by the Panthers, and signed by the Dallas Cowboys.

In 2015, Hardy was released by the Cowboys after one season, with coach Jason Garret citing his inappropriate tweets, frequent tardiness, and bad influence on younger players as reasons.

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