It didn’t take long for former Dallas Cowboys and Carolina Panthers defensive end Greg Hardy to establish his dominance in his new sport.

This past weekend, Hardy took to the cage for his amateur heavyweight debut on the “Rise of a Warrior 21” card in Fort Pierce, FL. Just 32 seconds into the fight, the former baller KO’d his opponent, Joe Hawkins. Hardy quickly jumped all over his challenger, landing a solid right hand that dropped Hawkins before following with a barrage of blows that ended the fight.

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The 6’5″, 280-lb former NFL star used the same ferocity and athleticism in the cage as he did during his days on the gridiron, earning him his first victory as an MMA fighter. And while he’s got some work to do before posing any threats to the seasoned heavyweight fighters at the top of the food chain, he does have the strength, raw talent, and determination to make a name for himself in the sport. 

Here’s some video of the action:

“I’m ecstatic. I’ve been humbled a lot in the last two years,” said the former NFL Pro Bowler. “I’m just super-excited to be able to compete. I’m just super-excited to be back in the area. I’m super-excited to be back to the Greg Hardy everyone knows and remembers, and give back to my fans.”

Few crossover athletes have been able to make a successful jump into the MMA world, but Hardy may be among the few to buck the odds and find success in the sport. We’ll be following the heavyweight during his next few bouts to see if he is indeed the real deal in his new chosen sport. 

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