Bellator flyweights Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton have come together with their boxing and MMA promoters to strike a rare deal.
With boxing – MMA crossovers rapidly becoming a highly sought after commodity, Hardy and Julaton have agreed to fight at Bellator 194 on February 16 at the Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut. They will then make their rivalry a dual sport endeavour with a boxing match set to take place some time down the road. The news was first reported by MMA Fighting on Thursday.
https://t.co/GBD1apyDq2 Hoping everyone is as “Pumped Up” about my fight vs Heather Hardy as much as @rich_chou is on this picture😡…LOL 😂😂😂 Thank you Rich & the rest of my @BellatorMMA family for making this one of a kind Dual-Sport deal to happen🙏 @paramountnet #MMABoxing pic.twitter.com/nIJXO2qyX7
— ANA JULATON (@anajulaton) January 19, 2018
The deal will call all promotional hands on deck, as Bellator will be joined by DiBella Entertainment, Hardy’s promoter, and Orion Sports Management who promote Julaton in co-promoting the MMA bout. The boxing match, with a date and location still to be agreed, will be co-promoted by DiBella and Orion.
Hardy drew a lot of fan attention in her mixed martial arts debut last June, defeating Alice Yauger by third round TKO at Bellator’s NYC event. In October the 35-year-old suffered her first MMA defeat when she was stopped in the second round by Kristina Williams. The Brooklyn native remains undefeated inside the boxing ring with a 20-0 (1 NC) record, and currently holds the WBC International featherweight title.
Julaton is two years Hardy’s elder, and has the experience edge in the cage. The Filipina fighter lost her Bellator debut in October against Lisa Blaine, but had previously put together a 2-2 run in ONE Championship through 2014-15. Julaton last fought in a boxing ring in 2015, and holds a 14-4-1 record, having previously held the WBO and IBA Super bantamweight world titles.
The MMA bout between Hardy and Julaton will feature on the Bellator 194 main card on February 16. The event is headlined by a heavyweight grand prix fight between Roy Nelson and Matt Mitrione, and also features a lightweight scrap between Patricky “Pitbull” Freire and Derek Campos.