Former NFL player Greg Hardy to make UFC debut in January
Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy will make his UFC debut next month, UFC president Dana White told ESPN.
White revealed the heavyweight bout scheduled for January 19 is close to being finalised as Hardy (3-0) faces Allen Crowder (9-3), though contracts have not been signed.
Hardy has won all three of his amateur MMA fights by knockouts, needing a combined total of just 142 seconds to secure the wins.
Five of Crowder's nine wins have come as knockouts, but he has not fought professionally since December 2017, when Justin Willis knocked him out in the first round.
Crowder was expected to face Rashad Coulter at UFC 225 in June but had to pull out of the competition due to injury.
January's fight will be the next step in Hardy's post-NFL career. Hardy played in the NFL from 2010-15, starting his career with the Carolina Panthers and ending it with the Dallas Cowboys. He played only one game in the 2014 season before being placed on the commissioner exempt list after being arrested for allegedly assaulting his ex-girlfriend.
Although charges in that case were eventually dropped, Hardy has not played in the NFL for three years. Hardy pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor drug charge in 2016 before controversially signing a developmental deal with the UFC in June.