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Everything You Need to Know About Greg Hardy Before UFC 264

UFC 264 is happening this evening, and everybody is lining up to see Conor McGregor and Dustin Poirier settle their 1-1 score with a trilogy bout — but there are some other great matchups on deck. Also on the main card is NFL player-turned-MMA-fighter Greg Hardy, who is facing Tai Tuivasa in a heavyweight contest. Here’s everything to know about Hardy before the fight.

Greg Hardy, aged 32, hails from Tennessee. He attended high school in Memphis and earned letters in multiple sports including football, helping his team make it to the 2004 Tennessee state championship. Hardy won an athletic scholarship from the University of Mississippi and was eligible for the 2009 NFL Draft in his junior year, but opted to keep playing for Ole Miss as a senior.

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He was then picked up in the 2010 NFL Draft by the Carolina Panthers and signed a contract in June. He quickly made a name for himself and had a breakout performance in 2013, but his career was temporarily sidelined by a domestic violence case in 2014 which was ultimately dropped during appeal when the victim failed to appear in court. The Panthers decided to cut Hardy loose in 2015, and he signed on with the Dallas Cowboys for one year as a free agent.

However, Hardy was suspended for the first 10 games of the 2015 season, although the domestic violence charges were ultimately expunged from his record in November of that year. Upon returning, he started strong but quickly lost momentum. The Cowboys decided not to re-sign him for the next season. This effectively ended Hardy’s time in professional football, and in October 2016, he announced that he was embarking on an MMA career.

Hardy fought and won three amateur MMA bouts before going pro in April 2018, making his debut in the second season of Dana White’s Contender Series. He defeated former NFL player Austen Lane via first-round knockout and was then signed by the UFC. Hardy has fought ten fights since then, racking up a record of seven victories, three losses, and one no contest (an initial win that was overturned due to Hardy using an inhaler between rounds).

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Now, Hardy is set to face Australian heavyweight Tai Tuivasa on the main card at UFC 264 tonight. This marks the former football player’s second main card performance at a pay-per-view event, and you can watch UFC 264 online by signing up for ESPN+ and grabbing the PPV now. The main event begins at 10 PM ET/7 PM PT.

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