A Misfits Boxing graphic with Greg Hardy. A Misfits Boxing graphic with Greg Hardy. (DAZN.)

Controversial former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy is stepping into another new ring. This time, he’s a late replacement for Vitor Belfort (out due to COVID) in a Misfits Boxing match Saturday in Austin, Texas, broadcast on subscription streaming service DAZN. There, Hardy will face Hasim Rahman Jr. (who is 12-1 so far, with six knockouts). Here’s more on that from a DAZN release:

Former UFC Heavyweight, Greg Hardy will now face Hasim Rahman Jr joining a stacked card featuring fights between Deen The Great vs. Walid Sharks, Josh Brueckner vs. Chase De Moor and Faze Temper vs. Overtflow at MF & DAZN: X SERIES 003 this Saturday at the Moody Center in Austin, Texas broadcast live around the world on DAZN.

“I’m excited man, this is my chance to show that I belong in the boxing world,” said Hardy. “I know plenty about the Rahman name as boxers, and I know he was preparing for Vitor, but I’m definitely confident and prepared to show people I can box.”

Hardy promises an athletic pedigree as a former NFL Defensive end with the Carolina Panthers alongside 7 UFC wins, with 6 of these coming by way of stoppage. Alongside proven power, the ‘Prince of War’ brings a new challenge for Rahman Jr as a much bigger man than Belfort. In his corner will be former Heavyweight Champion Shannon Briggs.

The Dallas Cowboys cut ties with Hardy (a Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro selection in 2013 when he was with the Panthers) following the 2015 season. That came after they took major criticism for signing him amidst a NFL suspension following a bench conviction for assault and communicating threats against his ex-girlfriend. (Hardy appealed for a jury trial, and the charges were dropped after his accuser didn’t appear in court to testify.) Hardy then pivoted to mixed martial arts after further NFL and CFL interest didn’t lead to deals. And many in the NFL seemed glad to see the back of him, especially after Deadspin’s November 2015 publication of police reports in his case and photos of bruises all over the body of his ex-girlfriend.

Hardy made his MMA debut in 2017, his Dana White’s Contender Series debut in 2018, and his full UFC debut in 2019 (amidst more controversy). He posted a 4-5-1 UFC record before he wasn’t resigned earlier this year, plus two Contender Series wins and an Xtreme Fight Night win. Since leaving the UFC, he has moved over to boxing, and recorded a KO in his first professional match last month against Michael Cook:

Hardy signed a multifight contract with the Bare Knuckle Fighting Promotion in June, but hasn’t yet appeared for them. But this Misfits/DAZN card will certainly get his new boxing career more attention. And if past things involving Hardy are any indication, it may lead to some controversy as well.

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.