Greg Hardy's first appearance in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship didn't go as he planned.
The former Pro Bowl defensive end was knocked out by Josh Watson early in the second round of their fight on Friday night.
There's an argument that the fight shouldn't have even reached that point. Watson dropped Hardy late in the first round, but the former Carolina Panthers player didn't hit the mat because he fell into the ropes.
Referee Dan Miragliotta issued a standing 10 count and determined Hardy was able to continue fighting. The bell rang to stop the round, giving him a few moments to recover before the start of the second round.
It took less than 10 seconds into round two before Watson knocked Hardy out to stop the fight.
This was the first appearance for Hardy in the Bare Knuckle Fighting Championship. He signed a multi-fight contract with the promotion in June.
Hardy's shift to bare-knuckle fighting came after he tried his hand at mixed martial arts. He had two fights for Dana White's Contender Series and competed in Xtreme Fight Night before receiving a UFC contract.
The 34-year-old had 10 fights in UFC from 2019 to '22. He went 4-5 with one no contest before his contract expired after a TKO loss to Sergey Spivak at UFC 272.
This was Hardy's fourth consecutive loss overall in combat sports. He lost each of his last three fights in UFC by knockout or TKO.
Hardy had a six-year NFL career from 2010 to '15. He spent his first five seasons with the Panthers before joining the Dallas Cowboys in 2015.
In July 2014, Hardy was sentenced to 18 months of probation and a 60-day suspended prison sentence after being found guilty of assault and communicating threats stemming from his arrest for allegedly grabbing an ex-girlfriend, strangling her and threatening to kill her.
Hardy appealed the decision and had his charges dismissed when his accuser did not make herself available to help with the case.
The charges were officially expunged from Hardy's record in 2015.