After building a highly successful career as a pro boxer, Heather Hardy’s transition to MMA last year was not without its speed bumps.
Initially set to make her MMA debut in January for Invicta FC, an injury to Hardy’s opponent pushed her debut back five months to June, where she was able to defeat Alice Yauger via third round TKO at Bellator 180. Hardy then followed that up with second round TKO loss to Kristina Williams at Bellator 185 a few months later.
Still through the ups and downs, Hardy is happy with how things have gone since turning to MMA.
“I can’t complain by how I was treated by the MMA community,” Hardy told MMAWeekly.com. “They welcomed me in with open arms. Even after my loss in October, they were so extremely supportive. You can’t ask for more than that. It was a nice welcoming for my freshman year.”
“I go into my fights confident because I always feel like I can withstand a beating,” said Hardy. “I was really confident that I could take a beating long enough to use my boxing to my advantage until I learned how to do all the other things. That was my go-to plan: if things went wrong, just take it back to boxing.
“It was definitely a mistake in the strategy department. I go in there willing and able and physically in the fight at all times. (Williams) had the better plan, and she stuck to it, so hats off to her.”
Hardy (1-1) will look to rebound in her first fight of 2018 when she faces Ana Julaton (2-3) in a main card 125-pound bout at Bellator 194 on February 16 in Uncasville, Connecticut.
“I think I just have to go in there and beat her up and not think so much about my boxing,” Hardy said. “Just beat (Julaton) up like she stole my allowance or she owes me money. It’s not like boxing where you want to win the rounds or score the points – no – I’m going in there because I want to kick your ass until you can’t get up and fight me anymore.”
When it comes to 2018, Hardy is not concerning herself with the year as a whole, but instead is focused each fight and the journey she takes to get to them.
“I want to say I set goals, but I really don’t,” said Hardy. “I try to better myself, my team, my career, a week at a time, a month at a time. I try to always have a fight in my sights, so I’m looking forward to something. I’m not looking towards the end of the year, but what am I doing for the next few months to make my situation better.”