Former NFL Star Greg Hardy Eyes UFC Heavyweight Championship

The former defensive end expresses confidence in fighting his way to a title.

NFL Defensive End Greg Hardy
Grant Halverson / Contributor / Getty

It wasn't too long ago that defensive end Greg Hardy was scaring the hell out of opposing quarterbacks every Sunday. The 6'5", 280-pounder used his superior strength, power, and speed to dominate the line and deliver the pain.

Among the best defensive players in the NFL, Hardy was at the top of his game before a domestic violence charge put the brakes on his pro football career. Since parting ways with the Dallas Cowboys, the baller turned his attention to another contact sport—MMA.

The transition didn't take long, as Hardy will be making his MMA amateur debut this weekend against Joe Hawkins at Rise of a Warrior 21. And if you think that Hardy lacks the skills to make it in his new sport, think again. The former Carolina Panther and Dallas Cowboy has been training for over a year at the same gym at which top fighters like Tyron Woodley, Joanna Jedrzejczyk, and Amanda Nunes train.

So confident is Hardy in his potential to succeed, he recently told TMZ Sports that he intends to reach the pinnacle of the sport: "Honestly, I would like to be in the UFC, and be able to obtain UFC gold. I want to be champion of everything I can be. The world champion, best heavyweight."

Of course, Hardy will need plenty more experience under his belt to compete with the likes of current UFC heavyweight champ Stipe Miocic, but don't bet against the big man's ability to eventually get to that level.