NEW YORK (AP) — Dilapidated NFL defensive extinguish Greg Hardy says he’s “afraid” by his high-profile home violence past and desires to indicate he has modified as he makes his debut in UFC, a promotion that hasn’t hesitated to include fighters with correct or drug issues.
His co-headline speak in a heavyweight bout Saturday evening comes at a key moment for the MMA huge, its first indicate in its $1.5 billion contract with ESPN.
Whereas aloof enjoying football, Hardy was once convicted in July 2014 of assaulting and threatening a lady who contended the 6-foot-four, 275-pounder threw her in a bathtub and onto a sofa lined with guns sooner than threatening to execute her. He appealed, and prosecutors in North Carolina within the extinguish brushed off home violence prices in February 2015, announcing the accuser within the case couldn’t be discovered. The court heard the lady had reached a civil settlement with Hardy.
“I attain revisit the past at evening,” Hardy stated Thursday. “I’m afraid and I am a damaged man. Nonetheless on the extinguish of the day, I’ve bought to invent myself encourage up.”
Hardy performed 12 extra football games in 2015 underneath a $thirteen.1 million address the Cowboys sooner than turning to knowledgeable combating, where his rise has been instant. The 30-yr-extinct breezed via six fights — none lasting past the well-known round — and obtained a contract via a UFC actuality indicate.
His debut comes one month after UFC allowed Jon Jones to compete following a certain drug test, shifting a entire fight from Las Vegas to Los Angeles on tale of Nevada regulators wouldn’t license the vexed well-known particular person. It’s also a whole lot of months after Dana White, UFC’s president, condemned Conor McGregor for his prison act of throwing a wheeled cart at a bus paunchy of fighters, then grew to alter into round and out of the ordinary the video photography to hype up an October megafight between McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov, a bout that itself led to a melee.
Hardy’s ascent came underneath heightened scrutiny from followers when he was once positioned on the the same card as flyweight Rachael Ostovich, who’s combating Paige VanZant. Honolulu police arrested Ostovich’s husband, Arnold Berdon, pleaded now not guilty to attempted execute and is accused of punching his accomplice within the head, face and ribs, fracturing her glimpse socket.
White has defended having the two intertwined fighters on the the same card and stated he had Ostovich’s approval to e book Hardy.
“From the minute I known as her, there was once by no contrivance a project,” White stated. “She didn’t know who Hardy was once. She didn’t know anything about it. She stated, ‘his project isn’t my project. They’re completely diversified. I don’t even know the fellow and I’ll haven’t any issue with any of this.’”
Ostovich stated in Unusual York that she talked to Hardy this week to “squash no matter might maybe very successfully be occurring.”
“Let’s work collectively and consume this to abet diversified individuals from either side,” she stated. “It wasn’t bothering me. It was once steady one thing that was once on my mind and on my heart that I needed to head in and meet with him.”
Hardy stated he appreciated the chat.
“She’s an handsome particular person,” he stated. “It displays greatness that she went via what she went via and came here to kick butt.”
Hardy had 15 sacks for the Carolina Panthers in 2013 when he was once picked for the Pro Bowl. He was once arrested on a ******* possession impress in a Dallas suburb in 2016.
“I’ve grown in every contrivance that you just might maybe imagine and the oldsters round me private helped me attain that,” Hardy stated. “Everything’s modified as a long way because the sport, the venues and myself. Please abet staring at and fetch out to your self.”
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