In the build-up to his official Octagon debut, here are five things
that you might not know about the controversial athlete:
He has won all his fights by stoppage.
Hardy’s nascent mixed martial arts career has gone well. Across
three professional contests, the powerhouse has yet to taste
defeat. His dominant performances have entailed three first-round
knockouts, with a combined fight time of just over two minutes. His
longest cage time to date was his professional debut, a 57-second
drubbing of Austen Lane
in June 2018. It was a similar story in the amateur ranks. Hardy
emerged victorious from each of his three matches by first-round
He was a high school sports star.
Football, basketball and track and field athletics were all on the
agenda during Hardy’s time at Briarcrest Christian School in
Memphis, Tennessee. The exceptional athlete ran 200 meters in 24.04
seconds while at the school and recorded a 14.47-meter shot put
He played in the National Football League.
Following a largely successful college football career at the
University of Mississippi, Hardy was picked by the Carolina
Panthers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL draft. He later played
for the Dallas Cowboys. After his release from the Cowboys, Hardy
continued playing football, first in the Spring League and then in
the American Arena League.
He is much-maligned.
Hardy has faced scathing criticism. His NFL tenure saw him
lambasted for purported poor professionalism, ill-advised social
media posts, tardiness and setting a poor example to his teammates.
In 2016, he was arrested for cocaine possession. However, his most
serious issues stem from his March 2014 arrest for assaulting his
ex-girlfriend. Initially, Hardy was found guilty and sentenced to a
60-day stint in jail. The then football star promptly demanded a
jury trial. When his ex-girlfriend failed to attend court to
testify, the charges were dropped. In the immediate aftermath,
police photographs were released showing Hardy’s ex-girlfriend’s
injuries. These images caused outrage online. Considering his
chequered past, the UFC’s decision to hire Hardy has been met with
concern by some and contempt by others. However, Dana White has
defended the decision. “I personally think he’s a changed guy,”
said White when questioned on the matter. “He’s learned from his
mistake, and he’s trying to make a change in his life.”
He has had his fair share of injuries.
As a junior at Mississippi, Hardy missed the first three games of
the season following foot surgery. The off-season saw him undergo a
second foot surgery. A July 2009 car accident reinjured his
seemingly cursed foot and led to him having to wear a cast. His
college career was later hampered by a fractured wrist. Hardy also
suffered a number of injury setbacks during his NFL stint,
including a broken thumb while with the Carolina Panthers. In June
2018, the football player hurt his knee in his debut game for the
American Arena League’s Richmond Roughriders. Fortunately for the
burgeoning knockout artist, the setback wasn’t serious.