Early last month, “the Heat” Heather Hardy teased us with some fight news and now we know what it is. After the suspicious timing of Hardy’s fellow boxer turned Bellator MMA fighter, Ana Julaton teasing fight news of her own, MMAFighting has confirmed that they were indeed referring to each other as each’s next opponents.
Hardy and Julaton will compete at Bellator 194 on February 16 then sometime after that to be announced, they will also compete in a boxing match against each other! This rivalry is just going to further heat up as we’ve already seen a bit of it start during the lead up to each of their last fights at Bellator 185.
“I believe Heather is avoiding me,” Julaton said prior to Bellator 185 “She did in boxing. We both want the belt, but I want to fight her too. We will meet. She can run, but she can’t hide.”
“Oh, now it’s a fight that’s going to happen,” Hardy said. “It’s not down the road – it’s going to happen as soon as possible. I never had beef. I always respected her. When I started pro boxing, within that first year of me getting acclimated to the scene and learning the girls, she had made the transition over to MMA as a professional. To me, she was one of my idols – this was a world champion. She was so outspoken and eloquent for women. And now all of a sudden I’m reading this (expletive) about how I’m running away from her. I’m like, ‘Who the (expletive) is she? I haven’t even heard her name in eight years.’ Right now, the focus is on Bellator 185. We can talk more about this at the post-fight press conference (Friday).”
It was a no-brainer that the two would cross paths at some point, whether in MMA or boxing and win or lose after Bellator 185. The surprise though is that they will get fights in both and back to back at that.
Ana Julaton is 14-4-1 in boxing and made the crossover to MMA in 2013 when she joined ONE FC and fought and defeated Aya-Saeid Saber by way of third round technical knockout. Julaton fought four times with ONE FC and went 2-2 before departing to the USA to compete in Bellator. She made her Bellator debut at Bellator 185 on October 20 where she, unfortunately, lost a split decision.
Hardy also fought at Bellator 185 which is where she suffered her first career loss ever, in MMA or boxing. She is 20-0 in boxing and 1-1 in MMA. Hardy made her MMA debut back in June of this year at Bellator 180 where she defeated Alice Yauger in a fun back and forth fight.
Who do you have winning in both of their upcoming fights?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/18/2018.