Bellator 185 post-event facts: Heather Hardy suffers 1st combat sports loss

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/fvERWKZ7WDUfLeM52yYTRF/279535”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mousasi def. Shlemenko”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

The Bellator 185 main event came down to the wire when latest UFC crossover Gegard Mousasi narrowly escaped with a victory over Alexander Shlemenko in Friday’s headliner.

Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned a unanimous-decision win over Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the Spike-televised middleweight main event at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., giving him his first win since parting ways with the UFC earlier this year.

Mousasi’s victory closed out of a five-fight main card, which saw three contests decided by the scorecards. For more on the numbers behind the show, check out 20 post-event facts about Bellator 185.

* * * *

General

Debuting fighters went 3-3 at the event.

Betting favorites went 3-2 on the main card.

Betting favorites fell to 11-4 (with one even odds) in Bellator main events this year.

Total fight time for the five-bout main card was 59:27.

* * * *

Main card

Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Mousasi was successful in his Bellator debut. He’s earned victories in 17 different organizations during his career.

Mousasi’s six-fight winning streak is his longest since December 2009.

Mousasi improved to 9-1 in his past 10 fights.

Shlemenko had his seven-fight unbeaten streak snapped for his first defeat since September 2014.

Alexander Shlemenko (blue gloves) fight Gegard Mousasi (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Shlemenko fell to 1-3 (with one no-contest) in his past five Bellator appearances.

Shlemenko suffered his first decision loss since Oct. 28, 2010 – a span of 2,549 days (nearly seven years) and 23 fights.

Neiman Gracie (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) improved to 4-0 since he dropped to the welterweight division in February 2015.

Gracie has earned six of his seven career victories by stoppage. All of those wins are by submission.

Zak Bucia (18-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered the first submission loss of his career.

Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was successful in her pro debut.

Kristina Williams (blue gloves) fights Heather Hardy (red gloves) during Bellator 185. (Dave Mandel, USA TODAY Sports)

Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) suffered the first loss in 23 fights of MMA and boxing combined competition.

Ryan Quinn (14-7-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) has earned five of his eight Bellator victories by decision.

Marcus Surin (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) had his four-fight winning streak snapped for the first defeat of his career.

Lisa Blaine (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) earned the first decision victory of her career.

Ana Julaton (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) suffered consecutive losses for the first time in her career. She hasn’t earned a victory since December 2014.

Julaton has suffered all three of her career losses by decision.

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

After bloody upset of Heather Hardy, Kristina Williams 'did herself a lot of good'

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_eNjAxEy5_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/eNjAxEy5.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Kristina Williams may have been relatively unknown prior to Friday night, but a nationally televised pro debut and major upset quickly fixed that.

On Friday’s Bellator 185 main card at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) blasted undefeated pro boxer Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) with a flush shin to the face in the Spike-televised bout.

The blood gushed immediately, and it ultimately set up a second-round TKO victory due to a doctor’s stoppage.

“To have someone come out and perform the way she did under this scenario – having a crowed arena, live TV and fighting Heather Hardy – I think she did herself a lot of good as far as building her brand, building her name and building some great fights ahead for her,” Bellator President Scott Coker said.

Despite a handful of amateur MMA bouts, as well as some boxing and kickboxing experience, Williams, a 28-year-old flyweight from Oklahoma, was a heavy underdog heading into the bout. Hardy, who was more than a 4-1 favorite, had the experience on paper. With a 20-0 pro-boxing record and an MMA-debut win over Alice Yauger at Bellator 180 in June, 35-year-old “Heat” could have been an intimidating force for many opponents.

Just not Williams.

“I was a little bit nervous, but once I got in there, I’m really comfortable in the cage,” she said. “Like I’ve said before, that’s where I like to be.

” … After the first minute or two, I knew the game plan was going to work because she kept coming (forward) and doing the same thing. I just fell into a comfort zone and started staying with the game plan.”

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_py5qVluo_RbnemIYZ_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/py5qVluo.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Did she feel disrespected by the odds and the pre-fight hype that was centered around Hardy, who quickly became a fan favorite after her Bellator debut earlier this year?

“I really didn’t have a chip on my shoulder,” Williams said. “I mean, I’m an amateur coming in. I was really grateful to get this fight, so I was just ready to prove myself.”

And that’s what she did, according to Coker, who was impressed by the newcomer’s poise.

“When I look at her performance, she wasn’t nervous,” Coker sad. “She wasn’t tired, she wasn’t intimidated by Heather at all, and she was here to fight. And she fought a tough fight.

“Heather was there doing her thing and trying to catch her. She just got out-kicked tonight, I think. That’s what it was, a kickboxing (match). And her system was working well, and for Heather, she just got caught a couple times with those kicks, and that was it.”

So, what’s next for Williams?

“I don’t think you put her in the title mix, but you have to put her (against) someone who has a lot of potential,” Coker said. “We’ll get her some more fights, see how she does, and then we’ll see how we do.”

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PUnFZiB9jBRnadvAedtaJA/279078”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Williams def. Hardy”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 185 highlights: Did Mousasi deserve win? Who picked Hardy's upset?

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_py5qVluo_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/py5qVluo.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

Check out all of the video highlights from Friday’s Bellator 185 event, which had a few surprises.

One of those surprises? Perhaps the way UFC vet and 8-1 favorite Gegard Mousasi (43-6-2 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) struggled against former Bellator middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko (56-10 MMA, 12-4 BMMA) in the main event.

Bellator 185 took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and the main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Mousasi, who was making his promotional debut after a successful run with promotions such as the UFC, Strikeforce, DREAM and PRIDE, ultimately squeaked by with a trio of 29-28 scores for the unanimous-decision victory, but his takedown-heavy game plan didn’t exactly win over the crowd.

In the co-main event, welterweight Neiman Gracie (7-0 MMA, 5-0 BMMA) stuck to his roots and ultimately submitted Zak Bucia (18-9 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) with a second-round neck crank.

Additionally, in a heavily promoted flyweight bout, Kristina Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) used a flush shin to the face to score a second-round TKO win – due to a doctor’s stoppage – over pro boxer and 4-1 favorite Heather Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA).

Also on the card, lightweight Ryan Quinn (14-7-1 MMA, 8-1 BMMA) survived a late rally from Marcus Surin (4-1 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) to pick up a unanimous-decision win, and Lisa Blaine (2-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) spoiled Ana Julaton’s (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) U.S. debut with a narrow split-decision victory.

For more on all of the fights, check out:

And for more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/fvERWKZ7WDUfLeM52yYTRF/279072”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Mousasi def. Shlemenko”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Twitter reacts to Kristina Williams' bloody upset TKO of Heather Hardy at Bellator 185

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PUnFZiB9jBRnadvAedtaJA/278995”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Williams def. Hardy”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

Kristina Williams embraced her opportunity to play spoiler on Friday when she defeated heavily hyped boxer-turned-MMA fighter Heather Hardy in a blood-soaked affair at Bellator 185.

Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) turned in a masterful performance to begin her professional career when she scored a upset second-round TKO victory over Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) in the Spike-televised flyweight bout at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Check out the top Twitter reactions to Williams’ upset victory over Hardy at Bellator 185.

* * * *

For complete coverage of Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 185 results: Kristina Williams bloodies Heather Hardy for TKO upset

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/PUnFZiB9jBRnadvAedtaJA/278994”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Williams def. Hardy”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Kristina Williams put on a clinic against the heavily favored Heather Hardy, leaving the unbeaten pro boxer a bloody mess with a thrashed nose in the second round.

Williams (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) got a TKO when the cageside doctor shut down the fight at the 2:00 mark of the second. A shin to the face left Hardy gushing blood worse than she was before the kick, and Williams had a big upset in her pro MMA debut.

The women’s flyweight bout was part of the main card of Bellator 185, which took place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

Hardy came out slugging with kicks and punches. But 40 seconds in, Williams answered back and rocked hardy along the fence. Williams tried to work kicks and landed to the body.

Midway through, when Hardy tried to grab some momentum, Williams took it right back with a barrage of elbows to the head. Not long after, they continued to swing and kick for the fences, and Williams landed a kick to the face. Hardy was bleeding from the mouth and nose when she went back to her corner after the first and knew she was in a fight again.

Early in the second, Williams was able to trip Hardy to the canvas, then landed several punches to her bleeding opponent when she got back to her feet. A minute into the round, they slugged it out some more – and Williams got the better of it once again.

Thirty seconds later, Williams landed a shin right to Hardy’s nose and wobbled her in a major way. The blood started gushing enough that teh doctor was called in and it took him no time at all to shut the fight down.

Official Bellator 185 results include:

MAIN CARD (Spike, 9 p.m. ET)

  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko
  • Zak Bucia vs. Neiman Gracie
  • Kristina Williams def. Heather Hardy via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 2:00
  • Ryan Quinn def. Marcus Surin via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Lisa Blaine def. Ana Julaton via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

PRELIMINARY CARD (6:30 p.m. ET)

  • Billy Giovanella vs. John Lopez
  • Kevin Carrier def. Jose Perez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Vovka Clay def. Frank Sforza via submission (gulilotine choke) – Round 2, 1:17 – 150-pound catchweight
  • Don Shainis def. Matt Denning via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 4:50 – 150-pound catchweight
  • Jordan Young def. Alec Hooben via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 2:44 – 195-pound catchweight
  • Costello Van Steenis def. Steve Skrzat via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 2:52
  • Joaquin Buckley def. Vinicius de Jesus via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
  • Pete Rogers def. Timothy Wheeler via technical submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 0:37
  • Dean Hancock def. John Beneduce via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:38

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith: MMA loves Heather Hardy because she has 'it' factor

if(typeof(jQuery)==”function”){(function($){$.fn.fitVids=function(){}})(jQuery)};
jwplayer(‘jwplayer_2sT2AQYL_FLu19iir_div’).setup(
{“playlist”:”http://content.jwplatform.com/feeds/2sT2AQYL.json”,”ph”:2}
);

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News

WBC international champion Heather Hardy loves MMA, and MMA loves her back, said Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith.

“She has that ‘it’ factor, where the whole crowd ends up rooting for her,” said Smith in a “Foundations” video promoting Hardy’s return opposite Kristina Williams at Bellator 185, which takes place Friday at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

Hardy, 35, transitioned to MMA in search of better payouts after career opportunities dwindled in boxing. With help from MMA legend Renzo Gracie and fighters at Longo and Weidman MMA, she got a crash course in the sport and signed a one-fight contract with Bellator.

Instead of a small show in Thackerville, Okla., Hardy wound up making her debut on home soil at Madison Square Garden, a venue she’d never worked in boxing. And after a slow start, she battered Alice Yauger en route to a third-round finish.

Hardy gleefully announced she’d fallen in love with MMA afterward.

Now, she has a unique contract that allows her to compete both in the cage and squared circle, depending on which sport offers her the best opportunity. She’ll be under the Bellator banner at least two years, with a minimum of four fights.

On Friday, Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will make her second pro MMA appearance at Bellator 185, facing off with Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) on the Spike-televised main card.

Things are moving fast for Hardy, but Smith can see why.

“She doesn’t just fight well; she’s a star of her own making,” he said.

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/278400”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hardy def. Yauger”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator contract allows Heather Hardy crossover in boxing, MMA

When boxer Heather Hardy made her professional MMA debut at Bellator 180, she needed to make an impression. There was no other way to construe a one-fight contract.

On Friday, she makes her second appearance for the Viacom-owned promotion, facing Kristina Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) at Bellator 185. This time, though, it’s not such a do-or-die situation.

After a bloody beatdown of Alice Yauger in June, Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) signed a two-year contract with Bellator. The deal guarantees a minimum of four bouts. But more than that, it also allows her to make a living in boxing.

Rather than be held to one promoter and one sport, Hardy gets to choose.

“I’m pretty much flexible to do whatever makes sense,” she told MMAjunkie in advance of her Spike-televised fight at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. “If it’s a better deal with Bellator, then we do MMA. If boxing has a big opportunity for me, (I do boxing).

“The organizations want to see me do well, and they’re not interested in standing in the way of one another.”

Hardy still holds a contract with boxing promoter Lou DiBella. She estimates she spends 12 hours a day in the squared circle, coaching fighters at gym and training clients at the famed Gleason’s Gym in her hometown of Brooklyn, N.Y. But at the moment, she sees more opportunity in MMA.

“The way I see it is, the industry is not really willing to pay women moving forward,” she said. “If they can’t offer me a decent enough fight with a good opponent – I’m 20-0 and a two-time champion – I’m not interested in fights that don’t make sense.

“If they can’t pay these girls to come in and give the fans the fights they want to see, then it’s really not worth my time any more,” she said. “I’m really hopeful that, starting next year, promoters will be willing to bring in good competition and put on good women’s fights.”

Money motivated Hardy’s move away from boxing. But it was also expedited by MMA’s passage in her home state. After a nearly 20-year ban on MMA was removed and the sport was legalized, increased insurance requirements forced several New York-based boxing promoters, including DiBella, to cancel events.

Without a place to ply her trade, Hardy, the WBC’s international female featherweight champ, needed a way to provide for herself and her family.

Although she hasn’t quit her day job as a boxing coach and trainer, Hardy is breathing a bit easier now that she knows she’ll be fighting regularly.

“It does help me financially in the long run, knowing that I have certain paychecks coming my way,” she said. “The last month hasn’t been great, because I don’t get paid up front for them all. But it’s nice to know that over the next two years, I’ll be in a better spot financially. The more you work, the more you get paid.”

For her second bout, Hardy wants to put on the type of performance that keeps her phone ringing. She’s working hard to acclimate herself to range and speed of MMA. She grades her debut a C-plus based on a slow start and thinks she’ll be a greater threat with more experience in the gym.

“The first one was really an introduction, trying to cover all the bases just so that I knew what was going on in any particular situation,” she said. “It was like glossing over all the areas, because I kind of fast-forwarded and jumped feet-first into a fight at the Garden.

“I focused less on my boxing (for the second camp), and more on kickboxing and striking and jiu-jitsu, so I’m already acclimated and accustomed to fighting that fight.”

Hardy earned wide recognition from MMA fans for her aggressive comeback in the second and third round of her debut. But her personality also won notice from the MMA media, which caught her off guard after so many years of obscurity in boxing.

“It’s so nice to finally get recognition,” she said. “I worked so hard in boxing, and nobody really knew my name. After that one fight, I kind of skyrocketed overnight.”

She’s still got a long ways to go before she’s a household name. But now, there’s a foundation to build her name as a crossover star in combat sports.

“I’m still working two jobs and taking care of my daughter,” she said. “I don’t have that luxury where I can go away for a six-week fight camp and have a nanny take my daughter back to school. I’m not there yet. So it’s nice (to have the new deal), because it seems like I can be there one day.”

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

 

Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Pro boxer Heather Hardy, returning at Bellator 185, gets opponent for 2nd MMA fight

http://link.brightcove.com/services/player/bcpid4621179066001?bckey=AQ~~,AAAABvaL8JE~,ufBHq_I6FnxR-PQW_F3sm5QdUbP7D6E9&bctid=5482577112001
Filed under: Bellator, News

Pro boxer and recent MMA debutant Heather Hardy has an opponent for her second MMA fight.

Hardy (1-0 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) was previously announced for the October card, and she now has an opponent: Kristina Williams (0-0 MMA, 0-0 BMMA).

Officials announced the fight via nypost.com.

Bellator 185 takes place Oct. 20 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., and it airs on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

In June at Bellator 180, Hardy, who’s gone 20-0 and claimed WBC titles since making her pro boxing debut in 2012, made a successful MMA debut with a third-round TKO of flyweight Alice Yauger (4-6 MMA, 0-2 BMMA). The 35-year-old Brooklyn native finished strong and survived a nasty cut to emerge victorious in June.

“I think I just fell in love,” Hardy said after Bellator 180 (watch the video above). “I just worked so hard, and now I can say I did it too. A lot of people said I couldn’t do it or I wouldn’t do it. And I did.”

Her newest MMA opponent, Williams, makes her pro debut at the event. The Oklahoma-based 28-year-old, who’s fought at flyweight and bantamweight, is 3-0 as an amateur after taking her first fight earlier this year.

The latest Bellator 185 card now includes:

  • Gegard Mousasi vs. Alexander Shlemenko
  • Muhammed Lawal vs. Liam McGeary
  • Heather Hardy vs. Kristina Williams

For more on Bellator 185, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

jQuery.extend( window._usmgOptions,{ scriptUrl: “https://s2.wp.com/wp-content/themes/vip/usatoday-plugins/api-galleries/assets”, analyticsCallback: “galleryAnalytics”, fullscreenUrl: “http://mmajunkie.com/sigallery/f7LEYiidSBPvU6Adi4xNQF/272474”, customAnalytics: true, title: “Hardy def. Yauger”, feedsrc: 2 } );(typeof _usdpgw == “undefined”) ? _usdpgw = new _usdpGalleryWall(window._usmgOptions) : _usdpgw.start();
Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie