Former NFL player Greg Hardy will fight fellow former NFL player Austen Lane on June 12 in a heavyweight bout. The two will meet on Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, a show run by the ruddy UFC czar in which amateur fighters and others fight for a (non-guaranteed) chance at a UFC contract. Hardy trains with reputable MMA gym American Top Team down in Florida, and he’s gone 3-0 in his short amateur career.
But of course that’s not what Hardy is known for. Hardy played in the NFL for four seasons, though he has been out of the league since the end of the 2015 season. At this point, his brief NFL career may not be what he’s known for, either. Hardy is remembered, if he’s remembered at all, because he was arrested on domestic violence charges on May 13, 2014; he was given a suspended sentence of 60 days in jail, which was later struck on appeal. The guilty ruling was eventually erased from his record. Hardy was initially suspended 10 games for the incident, though that was later reduced to four. Deadspin reported harrowing details from the night he was arrested in November of 2015, and he was not signed the following offseason.
Hardy hasn’t fought anyone who appears to be worth a shit yet, and when Dana White defended Hardy last year, he said that he “highly [doubted]” that Hardy was a UFC-caliber fighter. Why sign him, then? It seems fairly obvious that White’s giving him a shot because he’s a big name with a “controversial” backstory.
Lane is 4-0 in his brief pro career with four first-round knockouts, so he’ll almost certainly stand a better chance than this poor sucker.