Greg Hardy in the UFC? What Does Dana White Think?

Former NFL star Greg Hardy recently revealed his intention to transition away from football to a career in mixed martial arts. That news wasn’t exactly greeted with open arms on all fronts.

Hardy hasn’t been able to land a job in the NFL because of numerous personal and legal issues, so he turned to MMA. Fox Sports analyst Jay Glazer, who also trains MMA and has a passion for the sport, blasted Hardy’s pursuit of a new career in the sport, saying, “It’s a privilege to be in (MMA) and Greg Hardy does not deserve that privilege.”

The chief sticking point for most people with Hardy is his having been charged with assaulting and threatening an ex-girlfriend. A judge convicted Hardy on both charges. He then appealed, asking for a jury trial. The charges were dropped during the jury trial because the prosecution could not locate Hardy’s ex-girlfriend.

RELATED > Jay Glazer Blasts NFL Vet: ‘Greg Hardy… Choose Another Sport’

An independent NFL investigation concluded that Hardy had violated league conduct policies because of the incident. He was suspended for 10 games by NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, but an arbitrator later reduced the suspension to four games.

UFC president Dana White, while not exactly welcoming Hardy into the fold, isn’t shutting the door on him either.

Dana White on Greg Hardy NFL to MMA move“I’m one of those guys that believes that we’re all human beings and we all make mistakes,” White said on a recent edition of Speak for Yourself. “And when you make a mistake, you pay your penance, whatever it might be, and you should be allowed to make a living and move on in your life.

“Is he good enough to come into the UFC and fight? I highly doubt it. What he should do is start training.”

Hardy has said that he’s been training for several months, but, of course, training doesn’t always translate immediately to the cage. Experience is a factor that can’t be replaced by training, as White duly noted when confronted with that information.

“I’ve been playing football for a couple weeks too, maybe I’ll go try out for the (New England) Patriots,” he chuckled. “It takes a little bit longer than that, but he could fight at one of these small shows. We’ll see how he looks, and I don’t know.”

White’s comments, however, shouldn’t be misconstrued as a specific interest in Hardy. He said in a prior interview that he isn’t specifically looking to sign former NFL players or athletes from other sports. White was simply asked his opinion on Hardy’s decision to move to MMA, particularly considering the controversy over his background.

“I’m not saying he should be welcomed (in the UFC), but I’m saying I’m a guy that believes that if you make a mistake, your life isn’t over, go kill yourself or something,” White continued. “You made a mistake, you pay for it. When you make mistakes, it’s all about how you act from there on out. How do you handle yourself after that and what do you do to fix it.”

Most people in the NFL appear to have not appreciated the way Hardy has handled his mistakes. Although he was allowed to return from his suspension to play for the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy was released by the team after one season not only for his declining on-field performance, but because of his negative influence on other players off the field.

Mixed martial arts in particular, and martial arts in general, can be a tremendous opportunity to reform a life that has gone off the rails. Numerous fighters have recounted how martial arts has saved them, given them new outlets, new opportunities to succeed. Will Greg Hardy become one of the success stories?

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