Heather Hardy’s homecoming at Bellator 222, inside Madison Square Garden in New York, did not go according to plan thanks to Taylor Turner.
Boxing champ Heather Hardy was set to return at Bellator 222 after nearly a year away from the sport of MMA. The 2-1 pro mixed martial artist had defeated boxing rival Ana Julaton at Bellator 184 in February 2018, but had subsequently jumped back to boxing. Returning to the cage, she was facing Taylor Turner. Turner was a little known talent with a sub-500 record out of Tennessee.
However, Friday against New York’s own Hardy, it was Turner’s night. Handily.
The bout lasted under a round. Hardy was able to stop a takedown early against Turner, but a second attempt a minute in saw Heather Hardy end up on her back. She would never escape that position. Turner quickly moved to mount, and began raining down punches, left and right. Hardy tried to turn, but risked giving up her back in the process. Which she did.
It didn’t take long for Turner to flatten Hardy out, but Turner seemed content to continue punching rather than pursue a rear-naked choke. Hardy returned to her back, but Turner was controlling her arm, landing shots to the face with her other hand. Pulling her arm free, Hardy covered up, but Turner retained the high mount, and Hardy looked helpless. Hardy was doing little more than covering up, while the ref urged her to get out — which she clearly was unable to manage. A final call by the ref for Hardy to fight back went unanswered, and an elbow by Turner sealed the deal, as she earned the first round TKO.
Taylor Turner def. Heather Hardy by TKO, Round 1, 3:53