Former NFL Player Greg Hardy to Make Professional MMA Debut on Tuesday Night Contender Series

UFC President MMA Dana White Greg Hardy
Dana White Credit: Mike Sloan/

In what could be seen as a publicity stunt, Dana White has invited embattled NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy onto his Tuesday Night Contender Series to make his professional MMA debut.

Nolan King of MMA Today first reported the next step in Greg Hardy’s athletic transition.

According to MMA Today’s source, the former Dallas Cowboy will appear on the June 12 episode of the series. Hardy will face Army veteran Brandon Sayles. Sayles is 5-1 with four stoppages in his career, and has fought against UFC veteran Chase Gormley.

Hardy is 3-0 in his amateur MMA career and has spent under a round’s worth of time in the cage, knocking out all his opponents. Hardy also knocked out his last opponent in 14 seconds under the respected LFA banner.

Greg Hardy is a massive 6’5″ man, weighing in at 280 pounds on a given day, but has successfully cut to 265 pounds in each appearance.

Hardy was a sixth-round draft pick of the Carolina Panthers in 2010 and quickly blossomed into a star on the defensive side. Hardy was named an All-Pro in 2013 after setting the Panthers team record with 15 sacks in the season. However, his career spiraled following a domestic violence case that sidelined him for all but one game in the 2014 season.

The Dallas Cowboys took a chance on him in 2015, and while his on-field performance was excellent, off-the-field issues plagued him, and he was cut from the team following the season. Hardy’s domestic violence case was never resolved as well, as the prosecutor did not arrive at court.

The Dana White Tuesday Night Contender Series gives young fighters an opportunity to perform in front of UFC President Dana White, and matchmakers Sean Shelby and Mick Maynard. The top performer from each episode is typically offered a contract with the world’s biggest promotion by Dana White himself.