Recently, the women’s fight that everyone wants to see just got made and it will happen in two different sports.
Boxers-turned-MMA fighters Ana “The Hurricane” Julaton (2-3) and Heather “The Heat” Hardy (1-1) will face one another on February 16th at the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut in a women’s flyweight bout at Bellator 194.
Additionally, the two will re-enter the squared circle as pugilists for a boxing match later this year. The promoters for that bout will be DiBella Entertainment, which promotes Hardy, and Orion Sports Management which promotes Julaton in boxing.
“It just made sense," said Julaton. My boxing promoter Allan Tremblay, he really stepped up and just spoke to Lou DiBella and we were able to get things going with Bellator. Obviously, I'm just really excited and I’m just glad its finally happening.”Bellator 194 is headlined by Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione for the second leg of the Bellator Grand Prix tournament. Details are not yet clear if the Hardy vs. Julaton matchup will be elevated to co-main event status, but it will definitely be featured on the main card.
“It was a little bit more of me having to speak up and call Heather Hardy out to get this matchup and people were excited about it, so here we are," said Julaton. "My last fight, I didn't pay attention to the media but apparently she was talking smack that if she saw me she would give me a piece of her mind. But when we were at the last fight, she was standing right in front of me on line for the Boxing Commission and nothing happened (laughs).”
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Julaton is a 37-year-old Filipino-American from the San Francisco Bay Area who went 2-2 in MMA with one championship. Julaton, who also owns a 14-4-1 pro-boxing record, made her Bellator debut in October and suffered a split-decision loss to Lisa Blaine.
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Hardy, a 35-year-old New Yorker with a 20-0 pro-boxing record, made her MMA debut this past June and became a quick fan favorite after scoring a TKO win over Alice Yauger in Madison Square Garden. In her most recent fight, Hardy suffered a TKO loss to Kristina Williams due to a broken nose/doctor’s stoppage.
“She has a big following, but from a fighters perspective I’m sure [her last loss] is taking a toll on her emotionally and physically, along with the team," Julaton said. "That was crazy, it just happened, I heard she has like over thirty something stitches all in her face so it will be interesting to see how she comes out for this fight."
“I definitely think [these fights] are going to change the dynamics for female fighters," she continued. "Internationally, female boxers get paid a lot. Boxing definitely paid me a lot more than my current MMA contract. But Bellator lets me fight in both sports and I keep my sponsorship ability. Hopefully, people can really exercise their branding and their value from this opportunity.”
Julaton has been training with Frank Mir and her long-time head coach Angelo Reyes in addition to a lineage that has included stints with Freddie Roach and Manny Pacquiao in the Wild Card Gym in Los Angeles.
“I’m looking for some fireworks, I’m looking for a fight of the night, I'm going in there guns blazing," Julaton said. "A lot of people have said they have yet to see my boxing in the cage, so I'm just more pumped up to show some explosiveness. Look for a war, that’s for sure.”