Former NFL defensive lineman Greg Hardy has booked his first amateur fight in mixed martial arts for Nov. 4 in south Florida.
For what it’s worth, UFC president Dana White told TMZ last year that Hardy would need to “win some serious fights” before the UFC considered him. The UFC typically doesn’t sign athletes with little to no background but has made several high-profile exceptions.
In an interview with MMAFighting.com in 2016, Hardy said, “I have a lot of different issues that I’m definitely working through and working on. I would say [training MMA] helps me channel everything. It helps me just come back down to earth, be humble, because these are machines that I see every day. I get choked out, punched in the face and laid out on the mat daily, and that’s not something that a guy my size and my stature with my history has ever come across.”
Hardy had six sacks in 12 games for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015. He was a Pro Bowl selection for the Carolina Panthers in 2013, when he registered a career-best 15 sacks.
McElwain says receiver Tyrie Cleveland, left tackle Martez Ivey, receiver Kadarius Toney, safety Chauncey Gardner and defensive end Jabari Zuniga are “very limited” in practice this week.
“I’m sure there’s not a coach in America who hasn’t been through something like this or will go through something like this,” McElwain said. “At the same time, the guys that are here, they play really hard and they’ve been playing hard. That’s all good and dandy, but at the end of the day, you’ve got to win. We’ve got to come out with getting better with those guys this week and then put the plan together moving forward.”
Florida already has several players out for the season, including quarterback Luke Del Rio (broken collarbone), safety Marcell Harris (torn Achilles tendon) and receiver James Robinson (unknown heart condition).