or should i say screwed??
UNCASVILLE, Conn. – Heather Hardy stepped off the scale at Mohegan Sun today apparently under the assumption that another weight cut was over, and she was good to go.
She found out a while after the fact, even after completing a lengthy sit-down interview on camera, that wasn’t the case after all, and that she had been fined 20 percent for missing weight by a quarter-pound.
Hardy (1-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) fights Ana Julaton (2-3 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) in a flyweight bout Friday at Bellator 194, which takes place at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Her official weight was 126.25 pounds.
The circumstances all seemed to point to Hardy being a fraction over but then not getting the opportunity to drop the extra quarter-pound to avoid the fine. She weighed in wearing a bikini but didn’t strip down to weigh in behind a towel. And despite fighters being told ahead of the official weigh-ins that they’d have an additional two hours to cut weight, Hardy left the scale, expressed what appeared to be relief to her corner that she made weight, and that seemed to be the end of the story.
The rest of the fighters on the card then continued, one at a time, to make weight, and everything seemed normal. Although Hardy was announced as being over, without any additional official explanation the appearance was that had she stripped down, she likely would’ve been on – so it looked like a decision had been made.
When word came down more than an hour after the weigh-ins had wrapped that she had not, in fact, made weight, and that Julaton would receive 20 percent of her fight purse after the renegotation, it came as something of a surprise.
But Mike Mazzulli, president of the Mohegan Tribe Department of Athletic Regulation, which is overseeing Bellator 194, said it was his evaluation while Hardy was on the scale that kept him from even giving her the opportunity to weigh in behind a towel.
“It was never said she was good,” Mazzulli told MMAjunkie today after the official weigh-ins. “She got on the scale, (and) she was 126.25 … she was a quarter-pound over. At that point, I explained to her – after evaluating her and seeing how she was – that she was not going to lose anymore. The fight’s not going to happen (if she has to lose anymore) – I’ll cancel the fight. Fighter safety is the most important at Mohegan, and I make sure of it.”
Hardy, though, told MMAjunkie that she was under the impression her weight was good to go – even if she was a quarter-pound over while in her bikini.
“I did make the weight,” Hardy told MMAjunkie. “I was two (tenths) over and they gave me the allowance for bikini top and bottom without making me strip in front of the room. (I’m) not sure about there having been a problem at all – I was backstage after the weigh-in hydrating and doing interviews for like an hour after.
“I was shocked when they called in and said they were fining me. Yes, it was a rough-ass weight cut – (it) was totally clear on my face. But (Mazzulli) looked at me and said 126. There was a guy behind him that said, ‘We make the allowance for your bikini. She isn’t stripping. We don’t need the towel.”
Mazzulli said Hardy’s demeanor on the scale was what led to him making the decision from letting her use the extra two hours, and from letting her use a towel, which has come to be customary in MMA weight cuts. If a fighter is a little bit over while wearing fight shorts or underwear, many times a towel is brought out so the fighter can weigh in without clothes.
Sometimes they hit the marks with the use of the towel, and sometimes they don’t. But in this instance, Mazzulli said his concern with the athletes’ safety, particularly when it comes to weight cuts, led to him making the call.
“I evaluated her, and I felt I didn’t even want her to (remove her clothes to use the towel), because at that point she wasn’t even speaking to me (on the scale),” Mazzulli said. “I made the decision as the commissioner that I wasn’t going to put her on the scale with no clothes on – that’s how concerned I was about her. And my doctors will re-evaluate her tonight at the (ceremonial) weigh-in, as well.”
As for why Hardy got off the scale appearing to express relief that she made weight, Mazzulli doesn’t have an answer.
“I explained to her (on the scale) that she did not (make weight) – that she was over a quarter-(pound), but I was not going to allow her to lose any more weight,” Mazzulli said. “… I explained to her, ‘I’m not even going to have you remove your clothes, because at this point you can’t even speak to me coherently. That concerns me.'”
Mazzulli said once the weigh-ins were over, he put the ball in Bellator’s court to decide if the fight would go on, and absent an official decision from the promoter, he would get involved. Once Bellator asked him to help with a decision, he said he spoke to Julaton and her camp.
“Rich Chou, the matchmaker, came to me, and I automatically fined Ms. Hardy 20 percent,” Mazzulli said. “(Julaton) came in, and I explained to her that it’s your decision if you’re going to fight, but Ms. Hardy is going to get a 20 percent fine, which is $2,400. And instead of me keeping $1,000 of it, which I have the right to, I provided the $2,400 to her opponent. At that point, (Julaton) accepted it, and that’s where we are right now.”
Heather was not allowed to weigh in with the towel, cause the commissoner thought she could not speak of the rough weight cut.
fined 20% for a 0.25 pound over.
i guess they need the money