Greg Hardy to make full UFC debut in Brooklyn in January

Greg Hardy

Hardy (3-0), a former defensive end with the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, will compete against Allen Crowder (9-3) at a UFC Fight Night on January 19, UFC president Dana White told ESPN. That event, which already features Paige VanZant vs Rachael Ostovich (who was recently the victim of domestic abuse), will mark the first live event of a five-year deal between the UFC and ESPN.

He earned a developmental contract with the promotion by defeating Austin Lane on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in June, and has gone on to win each of his three professional fights via first-round knockout.

Hardy, 30, was excommunicated from the National Football League after details of an alleged 2014 assault on his ex-girlfriend became public. He was placed on the Commissioner's Exempt List and suspended 10 games by the league, which was later reduced to four. The charges were dropped when his ex-girlfriend failed to appear to testify in front of a jury, and the entire incident was eventually expunged from his record. He played one more season in the league with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 but was never signed again.

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Hardy, who recently transitioned to mixed martial arts when his National Football League career ended in 2015, will make his official UFC debut on the organization's television debut with ESPN+ on January 19, though some sections of the MMA media have questioned the UFC's wisdom in booking Hardy to compete on the same card as Rachael Ostovich, who faces Paige VanZant at the same event. Let's remember, Rachael ended up in the hospital after she was brutally beaten by her husband, MMA fighter Arnold Berdon.

"Although this is a very hard time for me and my family, I felt that this fight in January was important", Rachael Ostovich said. Ostovich (4-4) is coming off a loss to Montana De La Rosa in July.

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