Former Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys defensive end Greg Hardy has decided to hit pause on his flailing NFL career to attempt a career in MMA. The news was first reported by MMAFighting.com.

Hardy's MMA dreams

Hardy, who is 28-years-old, has reportedly been training for some time as he is waiting for a call from an NFL team that never came. He's been training in Dallas-Fort Worth area and is already drawing interest from several promotions, taking his prospects at an MMA career very seriously.

He wouldn't be the first star in another sport to make the move to MMA in recent years -- two former professional wrestlers made the jump as well.

WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar made a successful return to the Octagon in UFC 200 over Mark Hunt, though he later tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. CM Punk made the same jump -- he was submitted in the first round of a fight against Mickey Gall at UFC 203.

NFL career damaged

For a time, it seemed as if Hardy was destined to become the best defensive end in the NFL. He made his first Pro Bowl in 2013, when he was named second team All-Pro at the end of the season and secured Carolina franchise records for sacks in a season and sacks in a single game. His career was derailed when a domestic violence arrest earned him notoriety.

He allegedly beat his girlfriend and threw her on to a piece of furniture stacked with assault rifles and handguns.

He was found guilty, but he appealed and the courts were unable to locate the victim, leading to the expunging of his charges. The Panthers stuck by Hardy originally, but as the NFL began to take domestic violence more seriously, they cut him from the team.

He then signed a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys, where he kept making inappropriate comments about the incident.

Furthering the controversy, pictures were released by Deadspin showing the injuries Hardy allegedly inflicted upon his victim. After one season, the Cowboys chose not to re-sign Hardy.

On September 26, he was arrested for cocaine possession.

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