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Greg Hardy signed by UFC after 1st pro MMA victory

theScore logo theScore 2018-06-13 Mike Alessandrini
Greg Hardy et al. posing for the camera © Jeff Bottari/DWTNCS LLC / UFC / Getty

Greg Hardy is taking a step forward in his MMA career after a successful pro debut.

Hardy defeated fellow ex-NFL player Austen Lane in Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series via a dominant 57-second knockout. White then announced the UFC will sign Hardy, but suggested it'll be a developmental contract.

"This means everything," Hardy said on the broadcast after his Contender Series victory. "It's awesome. ... I'm just really glad I got the opportunity, man. Austen came out fighting hard like I thought he would, and it was just a great fight. I got lucky and came in and did what I was supposed to do, and it worked out."

White also hinted that Hardy could be given more pro fights elsewhere to gain experience before joining the UFC permanently.

Hardy was 3-0 as an amateur heavyweight before turning pro and winning his debut bout. All four of his MMA fights have resulted in first-round knockout victories.

The former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive end last played in the NFL in 2015, and his UFC signing doesn't come without controversy. Hardy was found guilty of communicating threats and assaulting then-girlfriend Nicole Holder in 2014. Charges were later dismissed and expunged from his record when Holder told prosecutors she didn't want to testify in Hardy's appeal trial.

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