Panther Tracks

Former Panthers defensive lineman Greg Hardy ‘focused’ on MMA career

Former Panthers and Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is out of football, but plans a return to sports, in the MMA (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Former Panthers and Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy is out of football, but plans a return to sports, in the MMA (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) Getty Images
 

Former Panthers and Cowboys defensive end is out of football, but earlier this week he tweeted that he “had some exciting news to share with y’all.”

According to published reports, Hardy plans to transition to a new sport -- mixed martial arts fighting.

I'm very focused and excited to start my MMA career," Hardy said in a statement provided to the website. "I'm going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that."

Hardy, 28, played five seasons for the Panthers and became a breakout star in 2013 when he had 15 sacks and was named to the Pro Bowl team. But two months after he signed a franchise-tag deal with Carolina that guaranteed him $13.1 million for the 2014 season, he was arrested in a domestic violence incident with a former girlfriend. That cost him most of the 2014 season.

Hardy signed a one-year deal with Dallas in 2015. He missed the first four games of the 2015 season, completing a suspension that began the year before.

Hardy was not picked up by an NFL team for this season and was arrested for cocaine possession in a Dallas suburb last month.

Hardy reportedly weights 285 pounds and will debut as a heavyweight in MMA next year. The website reported he’s been training for several months, though he also has sought work in the NFL, even retweeting a fan’s wish that he rejoin the Panthers in Charlotte.

"I'm fully committed to being as successful as I can be in this sport," he said in a statement released to mmafighting.com

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