Heather Hardy is returning to mixed martial arts in the same place she made her pro debut at Bellator 222 in Madison Square Garden. However, the former boxer is well aware of the growth she needs in MMA. She said as much at the Bellator 222 media day when asked about her upcoming bout against Taylor Turner.
Taylor is on a two-fight win streak outside of Bellator MMA. When asked about that being a concern for her, Hardy told Sherdog, "All these girls are a concern for me. I'm still a baby in this sport." However, that does not mean she is afraid. After all, boxing has made her tough enough and says she's just going to "beat the s--- out of her."
For this fight, she has been preparing with the Serra-Longo Fight Team out of Long Island, New York, and is getting a crash course for her return to MMA in a manner she prefers. She called everyone there, "fight nerds," and includes herself in that category as she likes the training process and the breakdown of technique she is getting there. "I like things broken down to me so I can learn them and figure it out on my own."
Still, "The Heat" knows the fans want blood and that combat sports are still a form of entertainment. While she and Ana Julaton did their best to go full throttle into MMA, it was not well received. After that fight she celebrated doing "better, bad jiu-jitsu than she did," but not everyone agreed. Hardy said she received hate mail afterward but that it didn't discourage her. "I have to give the people what they want, they want blood, they want to see me get my nose broke. I gotta break the other girl's nose then."
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.