At Bellator 185 on Friday, boxing champ/mixed martial arts crossover star Heather Hardy showed courage, heart, and determination. What she did not show, despite gamely pressing forward throughout her fight, was an ability to avoid the devastating kicks of Kristina Williams. Bruised and bloodied after the first round, in the second frame, Williams’ shin connected once again with Hardy’s nose, with the resulting damage enough for the referee to call in the ringside physician. The doctor, who had already checked in on Hardy between rounds, had seen enough, and waved off the fight.
That put an end to Hardy’s night. Meanwhile, fellow pro boxer and Hardy rival Ana Julaton, who came into Bellator 185 having gone 2-2 under the ONE Championship banner, had a less bloody but equally disappointing result in her Bellator MMA debut. Julaton was upset by Lisa “Insane” Blaine to open the main card of Friday’s event in Uncasville, CT. Blaine took home a split decision, though any judge awarding Julaton the fight should be have been forced to get their eyes examined.
That leaves both boxing stars coming off a loss. And while it might not be how the promotion wanted to get to a potential boxer vs. boxer showdown, it is very much still in the cards.
Bellator MMA CEO Scott Coker addressed the assembled media, including Cageside Press, following the evening’s festivities at the Mohegan Sun Arena, where we asked him about Hardy’s status (at press time, Coker could only relay that she had been taken to hospital) and a potential future clash between the pair.
“Absolutely” Coker replied when asked about a fight between Hardy and Julaton. “To me, those two girls are special.”
“It’s admirable what they’re doing attempting to come over to mixed martial arts from having such a great boxing career and a boxing background, but it’s not easy, it’s a different situation” he explained. “It’s attempting to fight in a cage, it’s not a ring, it’s just a different environment for them, there’s going to be a certain learning curve.”
“If they wanted to fight in the future, we would definitely consider that.”
While Ana Julaton did not appear to take too much damage in her loss to Lisa Blaine, Heather Hardy may be out for some time based on the damage on display in the cage Friday. If that’s the case, it’ll likely be many moons until we see the two throw down — but it sounds like it could be in the cards.