Australian UFC Women’s Flyweight Jessica-Rose Clark had the courage to speak out about her experience as a victim of domestic violence.
Now, she’s continuing to speak out after the UFC signs convicted domestic abuser and former NFL player Greg Hardy to a contract.
Even though the contract is a developmental deal that may mean Hardy fights outside of the UFC to gain experience, Clark is not pleased that someone with Hardy’s background is connected to the world’s most prestigious mixed martial arts organization.
“I had a spate with domestic violence before I moved out here to Vegas,” Clark said. ”That’s actually why I moved to Vegas. I had my fiance – at the time – arrested on one count of attempted murder and two counts of assault. . .
“He didn’t get convicted. He got a 15-month suspended sentence, still allowed to leave the country. They gave him his second chance and I’m a firm believer that someone who is capable of going as far as he went with me – and I know he’s been further with other women before I met him – he’s not going to change. He can do all the convincing and all the lying in the world and he can convince you that he’s a really good person, but who he is at his core is someone who’s capable and willing to do stuff like that.
“So I am very against Greg [Hardy] being signed because I don’t believe that people like that change.“
Clark was dating fellow MMA fighter Julian Wallace (who has also dated UFC fighter Ashlee Evans-Smith) when he savagely attacked her for buying the wrong noodles. He kicked her in the head while wearing boots, struck her in the face, kneed her in the ribs, threw her on the ground, and began choking her. Because Clark is a professional fighter, she broke free of the choke and knocked Wallace out with a head kick.
Hardy’s former fiancée claimed to be assaulted, choked, and threatened with death by Hardy. The charges were dropped on appeal after the woman refused to show up to court. The incident and Hardy’s terrible temper hastened the end of his professional football career. Since then, he has embarked on a career as a professional MMA fighter.
Clark believes that the cachet of professional sports causes people to make allowances they shouldn’t make.
“Athletic ability seems to supersede any negative thing you do in your life. You see it time and time again, like Kobe Bryant. It happens so often and it blows my mind that that’s where our society is at. Like, ‘Oh, he did all these really terrible things, but he’s an amazing athlete, so f**k it, let’s just let him keep going and let him keep making his millions and let him keep being on TV.’ There’s no punishment.”
“What stops him from going and doing it to the next girlfriend? I promise you that wasn’t the first girlfriend that he did that to but he didn’t get punished for that one, either. He didn’t get punished for the first one and he didn’t get punished for that one and now he’s going to be televised on one of the largest broadcasts in the world, for one of the most popular sports in the world. Where the f**k is the punishment? What’s stopping him from doing it to every girl that comes into contact with him?”
For an organization that cuts fighters for poor performance, refusing fights, and for any other cause as they see fit, it is curious that the UFC would choose to sign someone who has been previously convicted for abuse.
What do you think? Should the UFC have signed Greg Hardy? Should his past have no bearing on his MMA career?