Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy has embarked on a new career as a professional fighter, but his bare-knuckle boxing debut did not go well.
Hardy suffered a devastating knockout during a fight against Josh Watson on the Knucklemania 3 card on Friday in the second round.
With less than two minutes left in the round, the former Dallas Cowboys player missed to land a swinging left hand, and in return, Watson hit Hardy with a powerful left hook. Watson hit Hardy again as he fell to the ground.
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The 34-year-old was still trying to get up when the referee counted to 10. Finally, he needed help to sit up, as he couldn’t do it under his own power.
The Carolina Panthers selected Hardy in the sixth round of the 2010 draft. He then became a professional bowler in 2013. The following season, he was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list due to a domestic violence charge.
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His last chance in the NFL came in 2015, when he was signed by the Cowboys.
Since then, Hardy has focused on professional wrestling, signing with the UFC in 2018. He had some success early on, but was fired by the organization a year ago after suffering three straight knockout losses.
Hardy signed a fight contract with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship in June 2022.
«I’m back and I’m ready to knock everyone out in the baddest promotion there is. Everyone knows I can knock people out, and that’s what I plan to do. I can’t wait to take my gloves off and fight for BKFC.» Hardy said at the time of signing him last summer.
Watson was participating in his third BKFC event and had gone 1-1 with the promotion. The win over Hardy earned him a second win.
Meanwhile, Hardy had been in a couple of fights late last year and recorded a win against Hasim Rahman Jr.
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Hardy entered the fight as a favorite against the 33-year-old Watson.