Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy has had trouble with the law during his career — enough that the Dallas Cowboys passed on Hardy’s services this season. The 28-year-old is now reportedly readying for a transition to a career in MMA, according to MMAFighting.com. Hardy released a statement that said he was “very focused and excited to start my MMA career.” But Hardy may have more trouble than he bargains for.
MMA fighters have a unwritten code of ethics — and violence against women is near their top of no-no transgressions. Hardy was found guilty of domestic violence and assaulting a female in 2014. The UFC has an official Fighter Code of Conduct for its fighters to abide, but the MMA culture’s underlying code — based more on honor than on UFC commercial concerns — is what Hardy may find himself on the wrong side of. In prison culture, certain criminals like sex offenders are often treated with contempt and face in-house retribution that, say, a bank robber doesn’t. Hardy will face MMA opponents who carry a similar code — and willingness (duty) to dispense justice — in their fighting DNA.