Wednesday, April 17, 2024  |


Heather Hardy has opponent for MMA debut, Brieta Carpenter

Photo courtesy of Natasha Verma Productions
Fighters Network

It’s the age we are in, especially for females, who from their vantage point in the ring, see their counterparts in the cage headlining PPVs and cards and gaining as much attention and dough as most of the guys.

This age we are in, the Rousey Age, means that it makes more sense why a Heather Hardy, 18-0 as a featherweight ace in the pugilism realm, will on Jan. 14 enter a cage on do battle.

MMA is the way, for right now, for the single mother from Brooklyn whose boxing trajectory was mangled, for the time being, by supposedly well-meaning overseers and politicians whose strengthened regulatory framework has resulted in  the total absence of pro boxing in New York since August.

But, today, Hardy, age 34, looks onward and upward and toward a mindset in which she’ll have to be ready to get tackled and submitted if she isn’t on point in her MMA debut, for Invicta.

The focus on fight night in Missouri will be one Brieta Carpenter.

What does Hardy know of her?

“She’s coming down from 135 to fight me. 8-2 as an amateur in MMA. She had a KO in her last fight and Invicta signed her.”

And her nickname is “Tank Girl” so we can assume she fancies herself of a certain warrior class.

“I’m ready,” Hardy continued. “Kickboxing has always been as natural to me as boxing. And I’m over at Gracie Jiu Jitsu in Manhattan almost everyday. I’m working with Rolles Gracie and Rob Constance and I have great MMA sparring and every time I get in the cage, I’m improving. You know I’m ready, Woodsy.  It’s like a street fight. I’m just gonna pretend she owes me money!”

Hardy touched on the sad state of dysfunction which the current New York State Athletic Commission and pols have wrought. “The current state of boxing in NY is definitely what jumpstarted my decision to get on the Invicta show in January. How about preventative measures to make sure we don’t wind up brain damaged instead of demanding cover their butt insurance coverage which only massive promotions can afford?  That seems like a better safely regulation to me! Anyway, I’m looking forward to getting back in the boxing ring at Barclays in March!”

Fighters, they fight. I was at a tree lighting event in Park Slope, Brooklyn on Wednesday night and chatting with a woman who teaches at my kids’ grade school. She also has a kid in fourth grade, and knows what I do for a living. “I heard about that Heather Hardy on the New Yorker radio show! What a story!” But, she said, isn’t Hardy worried about getting hurt?

“Think of it like this,” I told the woman. “She is a warrior. She’s not like you and me. She was born to do this. It’s who she  is.”

The woman nodded, stayed quiet, and it was clear she got it. Fighters, they fight.