After spending the second half of 2018 under a UFC developmental deal, former NFL player Greg Hardy will make his official UFC debut on January 19. As reported by Brett Okamoto of ESPN, UFC President Dana White announced Hardy is scheduled to face Allen Crowder on the card, which takes place at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The event — the 143rd edition of UFC Fight Night — will air on ESPN+, marking the UFC's first broadcast under its new, five-year television rights deal with ESPN.

Since his NFL career came to an end following domestic violence charges, Hardy has made a successful transition to MMA, making his amateur debut in November 2017, before making his professional debut on Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in June.

Hardy has fought six times — three amateur bouts and three professional bouts — with every win coming by KO/TKO in under 100 seconds.

Hardy-Ostovich controversy

The UFC has created controversy since bringing in Hardy to fight in the Contender Series — a program whose bouts don't count towards UFC records, but rather are used for scouting talent. White has previously stated that he understands the accusations against Hardy will follow him forever, but that he was willing to give Hardy another chance

Now, as reported by MMA Fighting, the UFC has created another controversy, this one involving Hardy and the decision to book him on the same card as a recent alleged domestic violence victim — Rachael Ostovich.

In November, Ostovich was allegedly attacked by her husband, fellow MMA fighter Arnold Berdon, hospitalizing her for injuries that included a fractured orbital bone.

She claims Berdon hit her multiple times in the face, arms, and ribs, making her cough up blood. Berdon has been charged with second-degree assault and will have a preliminary hearing on December 18.

He has pled not guilty, claiming self-defense.

The attack originally forced Ostovich out of a bout with Paige VanZant that was scheduled for the Brooklyn card, but she recently was re-booked for the fight, despite her injuries, as she is expected to be well enough to compete by that weekend.

Hardy played with the NFL's Carolina Panthers from 2010 and 2014, but he was arrested in May 2014 for allegedly assaulting an ex and threatening to kill her.

Hardy was originally found guilty of the charges but said charges were dropped after Hardy appealed, requesting a trial by jury, and the alleged victim failed to show up to testify.

White claimed he talked with Ostovich before making the decision to book Hardy — a claim that Ostovich verified via social media.

What else is on the card?

The UFC's inaugural ESPN event will be headlined by bantamweight champion T.J.

Dillashaw dropping down to 125 pounds to challenge flyweight champion Henry Cejudo. Dillashaw will attempt to become the latest fighter — third in the UFC — to simultaneously hold two UFC weight divisions' titles. The bout — Cejudo's first defense of the title since defeating longtime champion Demetrious Johnson — is rumored to be the final flyweight title fight.

Several flyweights either moving up to bantamweight or being released, and Johnson being traded to ONE Championship for Ben Askren, have fueled rumors the UFC may be done with the 125-pound division.

Other participants scheduled for the Brooklyn card include Glover Teixeira, Ion Cutelaba, Belal Muhammad, and Joanne Calderwood.