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Heather Hardy has an opponent for her mixed martial arts return at Bellator 222. In keeping with her “I come to fight” mentality that she explained to Sherdog during last month’s press conference announcing her return, she now knows who she will be fighting. Hardy’s opponent will be Taylor Turner at the Madison Square Garden event.
Taylor (3-5) was the first opponent that Hardy (2-1) was offered. Since the boxing champion would rather just focus on training, she let her team sort out whom she should be preparing for. “I’m not really picky about who gets put in front of me,” explained “The Heat” to Newsday. “They gave us the name and we said, ‘Let’s do it. If she wants to fight let’s go.’” She added that she trusts her, “team is training me right to beat this girl.”
Between her boxing and kickboxing background, Hardy is an experienced fighter but she’s still new to MMA. For this camp, she has been training with Ray Longo and Aljamain Sterling to reacquaint herself with all the aspects of the sport. Hardy praised her team saying, “They have an even balance of pro boxers, pro kickboxers, pro MMA fighters and every time I go out there and train, I’m getting the circuit.”
Hardy admits her opponent has an experience advantage. However, what she lacks in cage time, Hardy feels she makes up for in heart. “[This is] a battle of will, of heart, of guts,” explained the Bellator MMA fighter.
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.