With mixed martial arts experiencing the biggest breakout since Forrest Griffin and Stephan Bonnar slugged it out on SpikeTV in 2006, there’s a certain carnival aspect of the sport resurging as well. Celebrities and athletes from other sports are starting to get in on the game. From CM Punk to Demi Lovato to Grimes, all sorts of famous people are now considering banking in on the fight game using their established names. The latest example of this is former Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy.
Hardy is an extremely controversial character, having been placed on the NFL exempt list in 2014 and 2015 for a disturbing domestic-abuse incident that left his then-girlfriend literally covered in bruises. Now he’s MMA’s problem, but on the plus side there’s a good chance he’ll get a very violent taste of his own medicine while competing in the sport, which has never been kind to those trying to cross over without years of training.
And Hardy needs the training. A video that has surfaced from 2008 shows the 255-pound man getting lit up by the much smaller Codie Shuffield, who had competed in the 18U kickboxing world championships. What you see above is what happens when someone with little formal training goes up against a skilled fighter, and it didn’t end well for Hardy. Shuffield used speed and footwork to hit Hardy again and again. Hardy had little other than the kind of duck and swing attack you see in backyard brawls. Hardy quickly gassed out as well.
“That’s the difference between boxing shape and football shape,” Shuffield told Red Cup Rebellion. “He’d been used to going five, 10 seconds real hard and then he’d get the break. It’s a different kind of shape.”
For his part, Greg Hardy says he’s taking the transition to combat sports seriously and we’ll see a different man in the cage.
“I’m very focused and excited to start my MMA career,” Hardy said in an official statement. “I’m going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that.”
It’s going to take a lot of hard work for him to succeed in the world of heavyweight mixed martial arts, where one punch with five ounce gloves can end your night or even career. But given the interest in his switch, it seems like there will be an audience for him as he tries the sport out, just like there were still NFL teams willing to sign him after his exempt status for domestic abuse wrapped up.
(Via Red Cup Rebellion)