One of women’s boxing’s biggest stars is, indeed, coming to MMA. Except now it’ll be with Bellator MMA.
Originally signed with Invicta FC, Heather Hardy will make her mixed martial arts debut at Bellator 180 on June 24 at Madison Square Garden in her hometown of New York, MMA Fighting confirmed with Bellator officials Thursday.
Yahoo’s Kevin Iole reported the news Thursday after a Boxing Scene article about Hardy last week.
Hardy, a Brooklyn native, will take on Alice Yauger in a flyweight bout on the online prelims of the card. She was originally supposed to fight for Invicta FC in January, but her opponent withdrew late due to injury. Invicta officials confirmed that the promotion only had a deal with Hardy for that fight and when it fell through she became a free agent.
Hardy, 35, is a well-known name in the New York boxing world and the current WBC international female super bantamweight champion. Yauger (4-5) lost her last bout in Bellator back in January to Jessica Middleton via unanimous decision.
It’s likely that Hardy will continue on with her boxing career, as was here original plan when deciding to try MMA last year. The Lou DiBella-promoted boxer will compete in both sports.
Bellator NYC, the pay-per-view portion of the card, is headlined by a grudge match between MMA legends Chael Sonnen and Wanderlei Silva. The co-main event pits Fedor Emelianenko against Matt Mitrione and there are also three title fights spread between the pay-per-view and Spike TV parts of the event.