Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy earned a UFC contract last week, following a victory on the season two premiere of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series.

But it appears his impending UFC debut may face a minor setback, as he suffered a knee injury during an arena football game mere days afterward. As ESPN reports per sources from the American Arena League (AAL), Hardy, who also plays for the AAL's Richmond Roughriders, was injured in the first quarter of the team's 57-43 win against the Carolina Energy.

It is unknown how long Hardy will be out of action — MMA or football-wise — as he will be getting his knee examined in days' time.

Hardy's transition to MMA

After three amateur MMA bouts, all ending with KO/TKO victories — two in mere seconds — Hardy was given the chance by UFC President Dana White to earn a contract as part of the Tuesday Night Contender Series show last week. His opponent was fellow former NFL defenseman-turned-MMA fighter, Austen Lane.

Hardy needed all of 57 seconds to knock Lane out, impressing White to the point that he was awarded a UFC deal. According to ESPN, it's unclear if Hardy's injury will affect his UFC start, as his next bout has not been made official yet.

The UFC has faced backlash for giving Hardy a shot and his subsequent signing, considering the circumstances surrounding his NFL exit. White, however, has previously defended by saying Hardy has cleaned himself up and "everyone deserves a second chance." As MMA Fighting states, White wants to see Hardy in the Octagon as soon as possible, and there's the feel he potentially could become a big star in the MMA promotion considering his name and knockout power.

Hardy still thinks of football

After being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the sixth round of the 2010 NFL Draft, Hardy was named Second-team All-Pro in 2013 and made the Pro Bowl at the end of the season. It was that season where he set the Panthers' single-season record for most sacks with 15.

In May 2014, Hardy was arrested for allegedly assaulting an ex-girlfriend and threatening to kill her.

Hardy was found guilty a couple of months later, sentenced to 18 months probation and a suspended 60-day jail sentence, but Hardy appealed the decision and requested a jury trial. The alleged victim did not appear to testify, and the charges against Hardy were dropped.

After spending most of the 2014 season on the commissioner's exempt list, Hardy played for the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 following a suspension from the league.

He was not re-signed following the season.

After playing in The Spring League in 2017, Hardy signed with the Roughriders in January 2018. Hardy has stated if an NFL team offered him a deal, he would drop his MMA career.