Greg Hardy’s first UFC fight ended in controversy Saturday night due to an illegal strike at Barclays Center.

 Hardy (3-1) suffered his first official MMA loss in the second round against Alen Crowder when referee Dan Miragliotta disqualified the former NFL star for striking with an illegal knee.

“I was aware of the rule as it stands; I was not aware that that was what was going on,” Hardy told ESPN. “I got deep into the fight, was in the moment, was trying to time it — and I mistimed it. For that to end my day, man, is a hard pill to swallow, man. And it’s a hard way to go down, especially when I wanted to portray a lot of appreciation and show everyone that I’m here to do it the right way, man. 

“This is not how I wanted to do things. And I just hope everybody understands this is not who I am, that it’s not something that I would do purposely.”

 A former All-Pro defensive lineman for the Carolina Panthers and Dallas Cowboys, had finished all three of his previous professional bouts by knockout in under one minute entering Saturday.

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