Heather Hardy looking to make her own history at the Barclays Center
In the heart of Brooklyn, one fighter is looking to continue make a statement in the combat sports world this weekend. A multi-sport fighter, Heather “The Heat” Hardy has provided a platform for women to get the recognition they deserve. This Saturday, in her own backyard, “The Heat” will continue her mission.
Her journey to this moment is something to behold.
Hardy (20-0, 1 NC Boxing, 2-1 MMA) decided to give MMA a shot after dominating the boxing scene. With a growing platform for women, MMA provided her with a new opportunity to evolve within the combat sports world, while also getting the exposure and paycheck that boxing wasn’t providing. After three consecutive MMA fights under the Bellator promotion, she was anticipated to fight fellow two-sport athlete Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton, whom she defeated at Bellator 194, this time in the ring instead of the cage. However, Julaton decided to hang up her gloves for good, announcing her retirement from combat sports days before the contract was set, leaving Hardy in need of an opponent. Now, Hardy is set to face Iranda Paola Torre on the Broner vs Vargas undercard.
Unlike Torre (12-2-1), Hardy may have to face some ring rust after taking almost a year off from her boxing career. The 36 year-old single mom isn’t too concerned though, as she is taking the initiative to have two jobs in order to make a difference.
Back in March, Hardy spoke to Boxing Insider regarding her time away from the ring.
It may be easier said than done, but as an undefeated boxer at 20-0, she is not to be taken lightly. Plus, she never actually stopped her boxing training, as she practically lives in the gym working as a trainer at Gleason’s. The same can practically be said for the inside of the Barclays Center, as Hardy was the first woman to fight in the arena, and has done so seven times since. With a hometown crowd on her side, familiar training partners, and a familiar arena, the odds are still stacked clearly in Hardy’s favor.
Compared to the past few months, the atmosphere may also be different for Hardy, but the story remains the same. While she may be on the undercard of Broner v. Vargas, she will stop at nothing to prove that women, no matter where they are, can be the true main event. Hardy has proven that she is profitable to promoters her entire career. With family and friends supporting her, Heather Hardy is determined to remain undefeated and unaltered.