Footballer-turned-UFC brawler Greg Hardy continues to profess his innocence, claiming that he is merely a rookie, not a cheater. 

"To start off I feel bad," Hardy said on Tuesday (Jan. 22) to TMZ Sports. "At the end of the day, bro. I watched the tape. It was a rookie mistake, and I am a rookie. That's what I have to take from it."

This "rookie mistake" Hardy is referencing was an illegal knee he threw during his Jan. 19 fight against Allen Crowder that ended up getting Hardy disqualified from his debut exhibition. Hardy—who has been fighting for less than a year—goes on to explain that he did not completely understand the rule at the time. However, many are painting Hardy as a dirty fighter which is something the former defensive end resents. 

"I hate losing for one. For two, I hate people thinking I'm a cheater," Hardy continued. "Just the way it was all formed and shaped, it kind of hurt me."

Despite this, Hardy tells the publication that UFC president Dana White has been supportive and understanding of Hardy's inexperience and intentions. Because of this, it is likely that Hardy's stint with the UFC is not over which might afford him the opportunity to avenge the loss to Crowder.

"I was in there having fun. He was having fun. It was war," Hardy said. "I would love to run it back."