Ex-NFL star Hardy signs deal to bare-knuckle box

  • MMA columnist for ESPN.com
  • Analyst for “MMA Live”
  • Covered MMA for Las Vegas Sun

Former NFL defensive end and UFC heavyweight Greg Hardy has signed an agreement to bare-knuckle box.

Hardy, 33, has signed a multifight deal with Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship, the promotion announced Wednesday. It is Hardy’s first move in combat sports since the UFC opted not to re-sign him after a three-year run.

“I’m back and ready to knock everyone out in the baddest promotion there is,” Hardy stated. “Everyone knows I can knock people out, and that’s what I’m planning on doing. I can’t wait to take the gloves off and rumble for BKFC.”

Hardy was exiled by the NFL in 2015 because of off-field issues, most notably a domestic violence arrest. He made his professional MMA debut in 2018 and earned a UFC contract after competing on Dana White’s Contender Series twice.

Fighting out of American Top Team in Florida, Hardy’s time in the UFC was filled with highs and lows. He officially won four of his first six bouts, including three knockouts, but struggled when he faced upper-tier competition.

BKFC has become a home for former MMA fighters, including names such as Paige VanZant, Thiago Alves and Hector Lombard. The promotion’s events are sanctioned by state athletic commissions.

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