Bellator ate a lot of s**t online during their Friday night broadcast after their ‘boxers turned MMA fighters’ match between Heather Hardy and Ana Julaton looked like ... well, like someone took some boxers and threw them in an MMA cage with very little training. For three rounds Hardy and Julaton struggled against the cage and on the canvas with each other, failing to enact even the most basic of underhook techniques (Dominick Cruz would have died) or rear naked choke execution.
These ladies need BJJ 101. How to finish a choke and how to defend. #Bellator194— Aljamain Sterling (@FunkMaster_UFC) February 17, 2018
Two world champion boxers in MMA apparently equals bad clinching and terrible jiu-jitsu. Who knew? #Bellator194— Seán Sheehan (@SeanSheehanBA) February 17, 2018
Bellator has been pushing Hardy hard as a potential future star for the promotion, but based on what we saw on Friday night she’s got a long road to go before she’d be capable of lasting a round against any woman in the UFC or Invicta. The promotion has never had too many qualms about putting less than professional level fighters on television if it might result in ratings (Dada 5000 almost dying in the cage comes to mind), but the lack of polish on this latest attempted prospect is pretty disappointing.
Hardy took to social media the day after the win to apologize for the slow pace of the fight.
I’m sorry it was boring guys. I love y’all a lot, but once she started on the take down attempts, i had to be patient. The win was on my mind.— Heather Heat Hardy (@HeatherHardyBox) February 17, 2018
The boring win....that felt DAMN GOOD. ⭐️ . @lucasnoonan . Mah TEAM: @blackrob_bjj_boxing @beezybird @alisonquinones @jlewboxer @hillimpact @shihandevon @fenix2317 @renzogracieacademy @gleasonsgym ⭐️ . #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
”I’m sorry it was boring guys,” she wrote on Twitter. “I love y’all a lot, but once she started on the take down attempts, i had to be patient. The win was on my mind.”
She followed that up on Instagram calling the fight “The boring win ... that felt DAMN GOOD.”
Hardy and Julaton are set to rematch in the boxing ring, where they have both held championship belts. I’m sure that fight will show off their legit high caliber skills, but this fight in Bellator just goes to prove being a high level athlete in one sport doesn’t mean squat in the cage until you’ve put in the time training MMA.