O.J. Simpson has been moved to a special housing area in Lovelock Correctional Center to protect him from inmates possibly looking to harm him in order to make a name for themselves, TMZ Sports has learned. 

After Simpson was granted parole during Thursday's hearing, Simpson was moved out of the general population and into confined housing, a rep for the prison tells us.

We're told there's no specific threat on O.J.'s life but several inmates in the prison have life sentences "and nothing to lose" and may be "opportunists" looking to hurt or kill Simpson before he leaves to raise their own profile.

The prison rep said O.J. did not request the special protection but explained, "It's in the best interest of O.J. and the prison to make sure that he's safe and comes out in one piece."

We also asked if the special protection would impede Simpson from being the commissioner of the prison softball league. We were told, "It would be pretty hard unless he watched from a window."

O.J. is expected to be released on October 1.