Greg Hardy is adamant the illegal knee he landed during his fight Saturday night was NOT intentional — telling TMZ Sports it was a “rookie mistake” and he desperately wants a shot at redemption.
Hardy was disqualified from the Jan. 19 fight against Allen Crowder for throwing a powerful knee to Crowder’s head while his opponent’s knee was still on the canvas.
“I feel bad,” Hardy told us … “You never want to break the rules.”
The ex-NFL star has only been fighting professionally for less than a year and says, “It was a rookie mistake and I’m a rookie.”
Hardy says he’s still trying to get a grasp on all of the MMA rules — but wants the public to know his intention was NOT to take out Crowder with a cheap shot.
Now, Hardy says he would love another crack at Crowder — and hopes to prove he’s serious about becoming a top UFC fighter.
The good news for Hardy … Greg says Dana White spoke with him after the fight and was incredibly supportive, even though Greg was in a “bad place” mentally.
As for Crowder, he tells TMZ Sports he forgives Hardy and would be down to fight him again if the money’s right.
Allen Crowder — the UFC fighter who took a vicious knee to the head from Greg Hardy on Saturday — says the move was NOT a dirty one … telling TMZ Sports, “sh*t happens.”
Hardy and Crowder squared off in the co-main event of UFC on ESPN+ … but the match ended in the 2nd round after Greg blasted Allen with a right knee to the temple while he was still down.
Hardy was DQ’d … and given his troubled past — many wondered if the ex-NFL player who has been previously accused of domestic violence MEANT to throw the illegal shot.
But, Crowder says he doesn’t think Hardy had any malicious intentions with the move … saying, “it’s a fight. It’s the heat of the moment.”
“There’s a lot of people that have made the same mistake. I have no hard feelings against him at all. He was tired, and sh*t happens. I have no hard feelings about it at all.”
For his part … Greg says he didn’t know the knee was illegal — saying, “it was not intentional.”
FYI … Crowder says if officials had given him another 30-or-so seconds — he woulda gotten up and continued the fight.
As for a rematch … Crowder says he’d be down — if the price is right.
Greg Hardy says he’s a changed man — telling TMZ Sports he’s got a new attitude and a new perspective after dedicating his life to mixed martial arts.
You already know Greg’s backstory … the NFL star was accused of domestic violence against a woman back in 2014 and initially convicted. The conviction was overturned in 2015.
He was also arrested for cocaine possession in 2016.
Hardy was essentially blackballed from the NFL … so he ultimately decided to train in MMA.
We’re told he made a real effort to clean up his lifestyle and focus on the sport — and so far, he’s been incredibly successful in his new career … racking up a 5-0 record in his first 5 fights.
Now, he’s set to fight at UFC on ESPN+ on Saturday — and acknowledges that his past has become an issue since the card also features Rachael Ostovich, a domestic violence victim.
Hardy tells us he’s staying focused on his fight and trying not to be a distraction from all of the other fighters on the card … since he knows how hard everyone worked to get to this level.
Hardy isn’t getting into specifics about his legal past — but says he’s got a new lease on life and a new attitude and wants to be a respected professional moving forward.
As for his fight with Allen Crowder … Hardy says he wants his opponent to know he’s a “very dangerous man inside the Octagon and I’m very serious about what I do.”
The Vice President and his wife are getting a bad rap when it comes to LGBTQ rights, despite their track record … at least according to Mike Pence‘s older brother.
Indiana Congressman Greg Pence was on Capitol Hill Wednesday when we asked him about the backlash over the VP’s wife, Karen Pence, going back to teach at Virginia’s Immanuel Christian School … which has a policy of refusing admission to gay students.
Rep. Pence did an artful DC two-step — especially for a freshman — dodging the question by saying he can’t speak for Karen. However, when we asked point-blank if his brother and sister-in-law are anti-LGBT … he answered. Definitively.
Now, whether anyone buys his answer is another thing. The Veep’s reputation in the LGBTQ community stems from a stance he took in 2000 during a campaign.
His website stated the following regarding the Ryan White Care Act, which provided funding to HIV/AIDS patients:
Congress should support the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act only after completion of an audit to ensure that federal dollars were no longer being given to organizations that celebrate and encourage the types of behaviors that facilitate the spreading of the HIV virus. Resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior.
That paragraph is why it’s widely believed VP Pence supports conversion therapy for gays. He’s also backed a law defining marriage as strictly between a man and a woman.
Still, Greg seems to think his brother’s reputation is undeserved.
When a team gives you a guaranteed 3-year, $ 84 MILLION contract, you better give them a win in the playoffs — at least, that’s how Greg Jennings feels about Kirk Cousins‘ big contract.
The ex-Vikings WR tells us it doesn’t seem like the QB’s contract has been worth it to Minnesota based on the team’s 8-6-1 record … but there’s more to his deal than wins and losses.
Jennings says what Cousins brings to the team in terms of leadership and other off-the-field qualities is valuable … but the bottom line, he needs to get to the playoffs and win!
The Vikings are playing the Chicago Bears this weekend — and it’s an essentially must-win game.
There’s more … Jennings (who also played with Aaron Rodgers on the Packers) explains why the QB must share part of the blame for Green Bay’s terrible season.
He also tells us what he REALLY thinks of Aaron’s leadership style … and why he doesn’t love it.