NEW YORK – Heather Hardy will make her MMA debut Saturday at Bellator 180 as an undefeated boxing champion.
But you know what? She’s keeping her ego in check.
“I don’t really look at the other girls. I’m being serious,” Hardy told MMAjunkie during Bellator 180 media day. “I really respect what they’re all doing. This is my first fight, and it would be almost disrespectful to the whole sport for me to say, ‘I can beat this one, and I can beat that one, and I can beat this one.’ I have to prove myself.
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“Even though I’m a 20-0 boxing champion, I’m a nothing-and-nothing MMA fighter.”
Hardy (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) will be looking for a victory over Alice Smith Yauger (4-5 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on the Bellator 180 prelims at Madison Square Garden, which air before the main card on Spike and Bellator NYC pay-per-view. The pressure to make a splash in her MMA debut is one thing. But to try and do it on the biggest stage Bellator has ever offered in The Big Apple adds a whole other element.
Not that Hardy is concerned.
“I’m no stranger to the big stage, so I’m not like super intimidated or anything like that,” she said. “And I’ve done this too many times. I know that fight week is business week.”
Hardy has too much to prove to go about this any other way.
“I want to come out and show everybody that I’m the champion for a reason,” she said, “that I’m not here by accident, and that I made the switch, not so I could just try it out. But so I could show everybody that I can win; I can fight.”
To hear more from Hardy, check out our interview above.
And for more on Bellator NYC and Bellator 180, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.