Former NFL defensive end Greg Hardy appears to be leaving the football field in his rear-view mirror for a chance to step into the octagon.
Hardy has been training at a Dallas-area gymnasium for months and promoters have garnered interest, MMAFighting.com reported on Tuesday. He is expected to make his debut in 2017 as a heavyweight, according to his representatives.
"I'm very focused and excited to start my MMA career," Hardy told the website. "I'm going to do this the right way, I can assure you of that."
Hardy hoped to return to the NFL this season but continued run-ins with the law likely eliminated his football career. Hardy was arrested on felony possession of a controlled substance in Texas last month.
The 28-year-old also was convicted on a domestic assault charge against his ex-girlfriend Nicole Holder in July 2014, but the case was dismissed on appeal after an out-of-court settlement was reached and Holder refused to cooperate with authorities.
The NFL initially suspended Hardy for the first 10 games of that campaign, but an arbitrator reduced the ban to four games.
Signed to a one-year, $11.3 million deal with the Dallas Cowboys, Hardy registered 35 tackles, six sacks, an interception and a forced fumble in 12 contests in 2015.
Earlier this year, Hardy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, reportedly told all NFL teams that his client underwent behavioral therapy to deal with anger management, temper management and domestic violence.