Greg Hardy is headed back to Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, despite earning a UFC contract in his first fight on the show.
The former NFL player will meet Tebaris Gordon on Aug. 7 at the Ultimate Fighter gym in Las Vegas, sources confirmed Tuesday with MMA Fighting after an initial report by ESPN. Contender Series airs live on UFC Fight Pass.
Hardy (1-0) earned that UFC contract by knocking out fellow former football player Austen Lane in just 57 seconds June 12 on Contender Series. That was Hardy’s pro debut after a 3-0 run as an amateur. Gordon (3-0), who fights out of North Carolina, has finished all three of his pro fights by knockout and has competed at LFA.
The UFC’s involvement with Hardy has received criticism. Hardy was convicted on domestic violence charges in 2014. After an appeal asking for a jury trial, the case against him was thrown out by a judge when then alleged victim stopped cooperating with the prosecutors. Prosecutors said there was a financial agreement in place between Hardy and the alleged victim.
After UFC president Dana White granted Hardy the UFC contract last month, White intimated that Hardy would not necessarily start right away in the UFC. Contender Series fights are not officially part of the UFC.
Hardy, 29, is training out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Fla., and has said he would head back to the NFL and give up MMA if given another chance there. He has not played in the NFL since 2015.