Hardy, playing defensive line for the Richmond Roughriders, had gone down in the first half, clutching his knee, and was taken back to the locker room. At that point, the Roughriders were up 22-0 on the Carolina Energy in an American Arena League home playoff game at Richmond Coliseum.
But by halftime, the Roughriders trailed 29-22. It was then that Hardy told his teammates, “I’m not letting you guys lose,” and came out for the third quarter “healthy as can be,” Roughriders owner Greg Fornario told MMAjunkie.
How better to show that than with a few moves?
“He did some breakdancing on the field to entertain the crowd,” Fornario said. “He got three sacks, saved the game.”
And the Roughriders won 57-43 (photos of Hardy, via Twitter).
When Hardy said before his UFC audition that he would love another chance in the NFL, he apparently forgot to mention he already was playing football. Not for an NFL team, of course, but for the football equivalent of Victory FC.
And Hardy is scheduled to play again June 30.
Fornario doesn’t expect Hardy to play with the Roughriders next season; he missed four of the team’s nine games to train for the Contender Series. But the former NFL All-Pro is expected to play next week in the AAL championship game against the Atlanta Havoc.
Which raises questions about Hardy’s current agreement with the UFC.
Usually, you’d have to give up your football career – minor leagues or otherwise – when you become a UFC fighter. But UFC President Dana White said Hardy’s contract is a development deal that could see him return to the Contender Series, bounce over to the internet show “Looking for a Fight,” and then, perhaps, make his octagon debut.
Is the UFC willing to share Hardy (1-0) with a minor league football team in the short term? A request for comment to the UFC wasn’t immediately returned, and Hardy’s manager, Abe Kawa, couldn’t further comment when reached by MMAjunkie.
One thing that hasn’t kept Hardy off the field is his checkered past. Asked whether he had any reservations about signing someone with a conviction for domestic violence (later expunged on appeal when the victim didn’t testify), Fornario didn’t blink.
“I’m a believer in the second chance,” he said. “Maybe not eight months after the event, but four years after. … He’s a terrific guy. The fans love him. We made the right choice.”
White, too, is a believer in second chances. Despite criticism from several media outlets, Derrick Lewis and Jessica-Rose Clark, a victim of domestic violence, the UFC boss believes Hardy continues to pay for his misdeeds with a tarnished reputation and is doing the right thing to turn around his life.
“People always make mistakes, and the thing about making mistakes is, how do you recover from that? How do you act after you’ve done something bad?” White told MMAjunkie after his DWCS 9 win. “This guy has paid his dues, and like I said, he hit rock bottom. He built himself back up, he’s going out there, and he’s fighting in these amateur fights where he doesn’t get paid. Now he came here, and I think he made $10,000 and $10,000.”
That’s a big chunk of change when you’re still paying your dues. Arena football isn’t enough to cut it.
“The only football – period – that you can make a living off of is the NFL,” Fornario said.
For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Is Greg Hardy jeopardizing UFC shot by still playing arena football?