Greg Hardy, the former All-Pro defensive end who became one of the poster boy’s for the league’s problem with domestic violence, has booked a fight in the UFC — against another NFL player.
Hardy will face Austen Lane in a UFC fight on June 12. Lane, a fifth-round draft pick of the Jaguars in 2010, was a defensive end like Hardy, although Lane didn’t see the same kind of success in the NFL. Lane’s career spanned just 30 regular-season games.
In three amateur mixed martial arts fights, Hardy has taken on three overmatched opponents and won easily. In Lane, Hardy is finally fighting someone his own size: Lane was listed at 6-foot-6 and 265 pounds in the NFL, and Lane has knocked out two opponents in pro MMA fights, needing just 14 seconds to win his first fight and 20 seconds to win his second.
The UFC has taken some criticism for agreeing to give Hardy a chance in a new sport, given his off-field issues in the NFL. Lane will become a popular UFC fighter if he knocks Hardy out.