When assessing her MMA debut at Bellator NYC in June, flyweight Heather Hardy admits that her first time in a cage for a bout threw her off a bit at first, but ultimately she was able to gain her bearings en route to a third round TKO of Alice Yauger.
“Obviously with the way that it ended, I couldn’t have scripted a better fight,” Hardy told MMAWeekly.com. “I’d say my overall performance; I’d give myself a C+. I really wasn’t happy with everything. There’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. I’m thrilled with the way it ended up, but we’ve definitely been working on those kinks.
“Anyone who watched the fight can tell you it took me a while to adjust to timing, to distance, the gloves being smaller, being hit, not having shoes on. I felt the familiarity came around after I went to my corner, talked to my coaches and came out for Round Two. It just took me a little longer than I hoped.”
Hardy (1-0) will seek to keep her momentum going when she takes on Kristina Williams (0-0) in a Bellator 185 main card 125-pound bout on Friday in Uncasville, Conn.
“She was undefeated as an amateur, and when you look at amateur MMA, there’s no head gear, it’s almost like the same thing as being a pro, so the way I’m looking at this girl is that she has more experience as I do,” said Hardy of Williams.
“While I may have more big stage experience, she’s got more MMA experience, so I’m not taking this one lightly. She’s a good striker, she’s currently undefeated, so I’m training to fight a killer.”
With a champion’s pedigree coming from professional boxing, Hardy is someone that people have pegged a possible face for women’s MMA. While Hardy feels it’s nice for people to see such potential in her, it’s not something she really occupies herself with.
“I don’t think like that,” Hardy said. “A lot of people say I’m the face for women’s boxing, and I’m surprised when I hear it. I’m so focused on training and winning and getting fights, and being vocal about things in the sport, and doing my job, that I hardly get the chance to sit back and see what other people think of me.
“I just want to do the best I can, and if all the other stuff fallows, that’s awesome, because it’s nice to be recognized for the work that I’m doing.”
Though circumstances have limited Hardy to just two bouts in 2017, she’s always ready for action and will fight as often as she can moving forward.
“I’m always ready,” said Hardy. “I signed a contract with Bellator, and that means I always have to be ready, I always have to be in fight shape. I’ve pretty much told them, ‘put me in coach, I’m ready to play’. I’ll be ready to fight whenever they want me to.”