Surprisingly, this morning on social media boxing and MMA competitor Ana Julaton announced her retirement from combat sports. The announcement means that the boxing bout between her and Heather Hardy will not be happening later this year as it was originally announced. Both she and Hardy faced each other at Bellator 194 last February where Hardy earned the decision win.
Julaton went 14-4-1 in boxing and 2-4 in MMA where she competed in both One FC and Bellator MMA. She won the Women’s WBO Super Bantamweight and IBA Super Bantamweight titles before transitioning to MMA in 2014.
Julaton, Hardy, and Holly Holm were one of first high profile female boxers making the move to compete in mixed martial arts and started the trend where female fighters get higher exposure than the sport they began their combat sports career in. “As a competitor inside the ring and cage, I’m confident in leaving combat sports fully knowing there are so many wonderful, passionate and hardworking women continuing to carry the torch as a guiding light for the bright future of our arena,” said Julaton in her post.
One thing Julaton shares with Hardy and the other crossover competitors in their company is that they made the move into MMA humbly and made it a point to absorb the new landscape and work their way up as they grew their skillset. With all the trolling that has come from the Mayweather vs. McGregor hype in going back and forth between sports, ladies like Julaton have set a good example.
Hardy responded to the announcement with a post of her own , thanking her for “lighting the way and giving her a cause to fight for.”
See Hardy’s heartfelt post below:
Today, one of my heroes hangs up her gloves. One of the unrecognized in an era where women’s boxing, and all its epic fights, went under the radar, un-noticed, and unappreciated. A time when women weren’t allowed to box in the Olympics, and were fighting for a single spot on the undercard of a fight card, once a year. A time when women were flying around the country and doing 10 round title fights for less than $1000. A time when it was hard to walk into a gym, and get a coach to take a female fighter seriously, knowing that the rest of the world didn’t. A time less than ten years ago. . Thank you @anajulaton for lighting the way. For giving me a cause to fight for. Would’ve loved to lace up and been your last boxing match too, but it was a honor to touch up and square off with you. All the best moving forward, I pray that you never lose your light. 👸🏼👸🏻 . @dibellaent @bellatormma @espn @adidas_combatsports @adidasboxing @shihandevon @hillimpact @blackrob_bjj_boxing @gleasonsgym #heatherhardy #heathertheheat #teamheat #boxing #femaleboxing #girlboxer #boxinglife #boxinghype #boxingnight #boxingday #boxinggloves #boxingfanatik #boxer #boxingfitness #womensboxing #boxeo #wmma #mma #teamrenzogracie #bjjgirls #womensmma #renzograciegirls
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 20 years martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour, and also writes for Sherdog while maintaining his own site, The Blogboard Jungle. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel