Gym 01 ace Cameron Hardy on Bellator’s radar

Cameron Hardy is on the radar of one of the world’s best mixed martial arts promotions.

Wednesday, 23rd January 2019, 3:24 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 6:42 pm
Cameron Hardy celebrates his win over Jean Do Duc at Shock N Awe 28. Picture: Vernon Nash (180686-034)

The Royal Navy ace, who fights out of Fratton’s Gym 01, is being monitored by American giants Bellator.

Hardy picked up five wins in 2018 to move his professional record to 5-1.

The Darlington-born talent delivered impressive wins over the likes of Jean Do Duc at Shock N Awe 28 at Portsmouth Guildhall along the way.

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Bigger and better things are on the horizon for the 23-year-old this year.

Gym 01 chiefs Gareth Johnson and Brian Adams were in negotiations for Hardy to fight on Bellator’s card at Newcastle’s Metro Point Arena next month. 

A bout failed to come to fruition, though. He instead meets David Khalsa in the main event of Battle Arena 4 at Edgbaston on March 2.

Johnson revealed a host of top UK bantamweights have turned down the opportunity to face Hardy.

And Bellator continue to maintain their interest. 

Gym 01’s head coach said: ‘We couldn’t get the match for Bellator but they are very interested in Cameron.

‘But, to be honest, every promotion is interested in him – but the problem is no-one wants to fight him.

‘No-one wants to fight him. Cameron and Brian have literally gone round to every top guy in the weight division and they’ve all got an excuse.

‘There’s just no-one out there at his level who wants to fight him.

‘That’s why we can’t match him on Shock N Awe shows because we can’t afford to bring anyone over from the States which we’d have to do.

‘Bigger promotions such as Bellator and UFC can afford to do that but Cameron has to just take the fights he can get right now.

‘We want to put him out there to all the bigger promotions in the UK and Europe.

‘We had good chats with the Bellator match-makers and they are very interested in him.

‘It’s just finding the right fight.’

Gym 01’s Phil Harris fought five times in the UFC  – the sport’s most popular promotion  – before retiring in 2014.

Johnson told how Hardy and team-mate Elliott Hoye constantly remain in shape and will take an opportunity on short notice if it arises.

He added: ‘The great thing is with guys like Cameron and Elliott – who we class as our new breed of athlete – is they’re always ready.

‘They’re never going to be overweight and can make weight on one or two weeks’ notice.

‘That’s how opportunities arise. Phil Harris was scheduled to fight in the UFC anyway but they called him up on a few weeks’ notice to fly to Minnesota to make his UFC debut.

‘That’s because he was ready and on weight. That’s the difference between being a pro and calling yourself a pro.’