Bellator's Harding trip home worth it

By Tamati Tiananga

Janay "Hollowpoint" has became the first Māori female MMA fighter to sign with the American mixed martial arts promotion, Bellator. 

At a very young age she was destined to do great in fight sports. At 14-years of age she gained a black belt in karate.

Harding says she had set goals in karate, she learnt about discipline saying, "It kept me motivated to aim toward things outside of school."  


Surely not everyone was Kung Fu fighting 🤷🏼‍♀️

A post shared by JANAY HARDING (@janayharding) on

“There’s so many aspects that’s attractive to MMA, it’s rapidly growing in such a short time, it’s so young in combat sports but surpassing sports like boxing,” says Harding. 

The hard-hitting fighter is well-travelled having lived in Thailand, UK and USA but admits her recent return home to train at Auckland's City Kickboxing gym has opened her eyes.   

The Bantamweight fighter will look to base herself in New Zealand in the lead-up to her next fight in March with an opponent to be confirmed in the coming weeks.  

"Due to lack of competitors in the New Zealand and Australian scene, I went professional early," she explains.  


You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take 🤷🏼‍♀️

A post shared by JANAY HARDING (@janayharding) on

The short trip home to Aotearoa has meant the Sydney-based fighter got to train with UFC Fighters, Kai Kara France and Shane Young and reconnect with family living in Ngāruawāhia. 

"Lots of my family is in Christchurch on mum’s side, and dad’s side is Auckland and Ngāruawāhia."  

On Thursday Harding fly's home to Sydney for a month before returning to Auckland in February to prepare for her upcoming fight.