Ex-Cowboys Star Becoming Pro Boxer, Debut Fight Date Announced

Greg Hardy

Getty Former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy celebrates a sack.

A former Dallas Cowboys defensive end and one-time NFL Pro Bowler is taking his physicality to the boxing ring.

It’s not unheard of for former NFL players to go into combat sports, with former Tampa Bay Buccaneers defensive end Marcus Jones and Jacksonville Jaguars defensive end Austen Lane going into mixed martial arts after their careers. However, no former NFL player has made more noise than Greg Hardy.

Hardy played in the NFL from 2010 to 2015, spending his last season in Dallas. The controversial player’s arrest and conviction for domestic assault in May 2014 was the beginning of the end of his NFL career, and Hardy transitioned into MMA.

His time in UFC, which will be explained more below, hasn’t gone to plan. Now, Hardy is transitioning to boxing and has a fight in October per the promotion he’s fighting under, Black Sheep Promotions.

“GREG HARDY October 8th ‼️On Black Sheep Promotions” the company shared with an image of Hardy.

As Heavy’s Stephen McCaugherty has covered, Hardy’s opponent and other details have not been announced. The fight will take play at the Delray Tennis Center at Delray Beach, Florida.

Hardy also acknowledged the announcement with a message and post on Instagram.

“When you got the dream locked in your sights and all you gotta do is pull the trigger. #dreamchaser,” Hardy wrote.

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Hardy Starts MMA After NFL Career Ends

25 sacks over two seasons in 2012 and 2013 made Hardy one of the premier pass rushers in the NFL, but his domestic abuse arrest cut that short before the 2014 season. The Panthers elected to not re-sign Hardy due to those character concerns, but owner Jerry Jones and Dallas were ready to take a chance on the defensive end.

Paying Hardy $11.3 million for one season, the edge rusher totaled six sacks, a forced fumble and an interception in 12 games, per PFR. While not abysmal, the Cowboys determined he wasn’t worth the money or controversy. Since, Hardy has not had any official NFL activity since as he’s focused on MMA.

After beginning at the amateur level, Hardy was eventually signed to UFC boss Dana White’s Contender Series, and won his first two fights in the promotion. However, in his first UFC-billed fight in 2019, Hardy was disqualified for an illegal knee.

Over the next few years, Hardy would go 4-5 in UFC fights, with his last two fights being losses via first-round knockouts. His pro MMA record at the time of writing is 7-5.

Ex-Cowboys Player Choosing Boxing After ‘Reevaluating’

After his last UFC fight in March ended with another first-round knockout, Hardy spoke on social media. Besides apologizing for his performance, Hardy actually teased a potential change.

“I’m ok first of all for those who wana know,” Hardy wrote. “No excuses, gotta get better. I don’t know what to do but say sorry. More coming for the prince of War just gotta get my shit together. Thank you to the @ufc and @danawhite for being in my corner. Thank you coaches and training partners and agents @firstroundmgmt . Everyone did their job accept for me. This one is on me and there are no excuses for me lacking. I refuse to die but I have to reevaluate for sure.”

It appears his reevaluation is leading him to the boxing ring, although he will be starting from scratch like he did in MMA. Despite that, the former Cowboys defensive end is continuing his winding path through professional sports.

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