So why go back to fistfights?
“Were you talking to my sister,” laughs Hardy, who has apparently gone through this line of questioning before. But seriously, the 27-year-old, who takes on Juliana Miller in the opener of UFC 286 in London on Saturday, has a pretty good reason to make a comeback.
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“I never felt like anyone or I could see what I’m really capable of,” she said. “I feel like I owe it to myself. And I’m in the position now where I’ve gathered information, organized it, I’ve got Dan in my corner – who’s the best analyst there is in MMA . And I just feel like I owe it to myself. I’ve worked so hard and so hard sometimes in the wrong direction, and I look back on my fights and I’m just like, ‘What the hell are you Why did you make those mistakes And I didn’t understand so much but like I said I didn’t know I didn’t understand because I would go from this gym teaching me something to this other gym that would teach me something. And that’s great, but it’s also off camp, where you add things to your game. And I never felt like I really approached a fight like I should have do it. I feel like the closest I got was when I was in Canada before I fought in Uruguay. I feel like that was the closest thing to a real boot camp I ever did.
It was in Uruguay that Hardy picked up his only UFC win in August 2019, earning a Performance of the Night bonus for his 69-second submission from Viana, and it looked like a new page was being turned by the Uruguay native. Venezuela, who showed flashes of world-class potential in a Fight of the Night loss to Andrea Lee and losses to Ashlee Evans-Smith and Gillian Robertson. But then came an unfortunate move to 135lbs, where she lost in Brasilia to Bea Malecki in the last pre-pandemic UFC event in 2020, the pandemic itself and the decision that for now she needed pause.