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Heather Hardy wants to ‘beat the sh*t’ out of Ana Julaton at Bellator 194

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Don’t get Heather Hardy started on Ana Julaton.

Actually, on second thought, let’s get her started, because the Brooklyn native is not happy about the way Julaton talked her way into a fight and she wants to let the world know.

“She’s just trying to latch onto my name,” Hardy recently told MMA Fighting. “I’m relevant in MMA and she’s not, so she’s been saying all types of sh*t like I’ve been ducking her. Well, okay now you’ve got my attention and now you’ve got a fight.”

Hardy will meet Julaton in a main-card bout on Friday night at Bellator 194 in Uncasville, Conn., The fight, which was scheduled for flyweight but changed to a catchweight after a weigh-in controversy involving Hardy, has been billed a matchup of boxing rivals spilled over to the MMA cage. Hardy is 20-0 (1 NC) as a pro boxer and held titles at super bantamweight and featherweight; Julation (14-4-1 in boxing) held multiple versions of super bantamweight gold.

But that’s where Hardy says the comparisons stop. Hardy believes Julaton has taken advantage of the fact a substantial portion of the MMA audience doesn’t follow boxing closely to try to hype a rivalry that simply wasn’t there.

“Here’s the thing, she was basically done with boxing by 2013,” Hardy said. “I didn’t even start boxing until 2012 and my prime came after she left to start mixed martial arts. So she’s been going out and saying I’ve been ducking her and this and that, knowing that a lot of people in MMA don’t follow boxing all that close. If you’re going to lie like that just to get my attention and try to make yourself relevant, I mean, you don’t talk sh*t like that where I come from and get away with it.”

Hardy garnered quite a bit of attention when she made her MMA crossover. Her debut, last June at Bellator 180, was an entertaining scrap at Madison Square Garden that she won via TKO late in the third round. In her next fight, she lost badly to Kristina Williams at Bellator 185 in a bout waved off by the doctor after the second round.

Hardy, for her part, seemed almost amused at how those around her reacted to the loss.

“I mean yeah, it sucks, but I’ve been through so much worse in life than losing an athletic contest,” Hardy said. “People were talking to me in whispers and hushed tones like there was a death in the family. I just lost a fight, that’s it, and all it did was make me more determined to get back in the gym and learn and grow and become a more complete fighter so this doesn’t happen again.”

Julaton, for her part, is also looking to shake off a loss at Bellator 185, a split decision against Lisa Blaine. That was her Bellator debut, which came after she compiled a 2-2 in ONE Championship.

When the Hardy-Julation bout was announced, it was set as leg one of a two-fight series, a sort of joint production between Bellator and boxing’s DeBella Entertainment. Round two, so to speak, will be contested in a boxing ring at a later date.

But as they head toward the MMA version of this double-date, which on paper sounds like basically a boxing match in four-ounce gloves, Hardy says she’s not sure a rematch in the ring is going to be necessary.

“I want to go in there and just beat the sh*t out of her,” Hardy said. “I want to leave no doubt. I want it so that no one is going to want to see the rematch. After this fight, it will be up to me to decide whether she should get another paycheck off my name.”