Heather Hardy became an instant fan favourite when she made an exciting, successful mixed martial arts debut at Bellator 180 in June.
On Friday night, however, the former professional boxer suffered her first loss as Kristina Williams finished her in a featured bout at Bellator 185.
Williams landed a brilliantly-timed head kick that broke Hardy’s nose and left her face a bloody mess.
Hardy, a former multi-weight WBC boxing champ who went 20-0 as a pro in that sport, never stopped fighting but the referee paused the action and called a doctor into the cage. The doctor did not allow Hardy to continue.
It was Williams’ MMA debut and considering her performance she is a fighter to keep an eye on going forward.
“To have someone come out and perform the way she did under this scenario—having a crowded 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 of Williams when speaking with reporters following the event.
Here are the complete results from Bellator 185:
— Gegard Mousasi def. Alexander Shlemenko by unanimous decision
— Neiman Gracie def. Zak Bucia by submission (neck crank)
— Kristina Williams def. Heather Hardy by TKO (doctor stoppage)
— Ryan Quinn def. Marcus Surin by unanimous decision
— Lisa Blaine def. Ana Julaton by split decision
— John Lopez def. Billy Giovanella by unanimous decision
— Kevin Carrier def. Jose Antonio Perez by unanimous decision
— Vovka Clay def. Frank Sforza by submission (guillotine choke)
— Don Shainis def. Matthew Denning by TKO
— Jordan Young def. Alec Hooben by submission (triangle choke)
— Costello Van Steenis def. Steve Skrzat by submission (strikes)
— Joaquin Buckley def. Vinicius DeJesus by split decision
— Pete Rogers def. Timothy Wheeler by submission (guillotine choke)
— Dean Hancock def. John Beneduce by TKO