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Greg Hardy disqualified in UFC fight

UFC Fight Night Cejudo v Dillashaw

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JANUARY 19: Allen Crowder (left) fights against Greg Hardy during their heavyweights fight at UFC Fight Night at Barclays Center on January 19, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Sarah Stier/Getty Images)

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The UFC and ESPN are trying to build up the disgraced former NFL player Greg Hardy as a mixed martial arts fighter, but his debut in the UFC on Saturday night did not go well.

Hardy was disqualified for illegally kneeing his opponent in the head while his opponent was on the ground. It was an obvious blatant foul that made the crowd gasp and the referee immediately stop the fight.

The fight hadn’t been particularly good even before that. The UFC fed Hardy a little-known opponent, Allen Crowder, in the hopes of getting Hardy an easy win. But Crowder held his own with Hardy through the first round before the disqualification in the second.

Hardy claimed afterward that the foul was unintentional.

“I’m not a cheater,” Hardy said. “Ask Tom Brady if I ever cheated all the times I sacked him. Never in my life have I cheated.”

Hardy said he’ll be back in the UFC.

“I’m here to stay. As long as Dana White, ESPN and all of you guys will have me, I’m here to stay. I’m going to fix what I did wrong. And it wasn’t intentional,” Hardy said.

Hardy is now 3-1 as a pro MMA fighter and 0-1 in the UFC.