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I have brain damage: Heather Hardy hints at retirement in latest update

LockerRoom Team
08 May 2024

Heather Hardy, a veteran of combat sports, has potentially announced her retirement from fighting after suffering repeated concussions and brain damage, effectively ending her career just weeks before a scheduled bare-knuckle fight against BKFC champion Christine Ferea.

The 42-year-old athlete, known for her boxing career and a brief stint in Bellator MMA, revealed the decision to step away from competition due to health concerns. Originally slated to compete on May 11 in a BKFC title fight with Ferea, Hardy was withdrawn from the bout shortly before the event.

In a candid Instagram post, Hardy detailed the medical diagnosis that led to her retirement, citing ongoing vision issues and worsening symptoms after her fight against Amanda Serrano last summer.

"After my fight last summer with Amanda [Serrano], my vision remained blurred for a few days," Hardy wrote. "I went for an MRI and to get my eyes checked... and it was diagnosed [as] the after effects of a concussion."

Despite initial hopes of recovery within six to eight months, Hardy's condition did not improve, and she faced escalating health challenges during her training camp for the Ferea fight.

"I was down to 123 pounds because I couldn’t eat, I wasn’t sleeping, I was so weak... I thought I could make it through the ten-minute fight, but after a very light sparring session I couldn’t see shit for two days," Hardy explained.

Consulting with medical professionals, Hardy received a sobering assessment of her condition.

"When you have a concussion, a piece of your brain dies and you never get it back... In ten years I’ve had too much brain damage. I can’t get any more or else I won’t be able to see," she shared.

While not explicitly using the word "retirement," Hardy's post concluded with a clear acknowledgment of her decision.

"I said the thing... you know what that means," she noted.

Hardy's boxing career, which began at the age of 28 in 2012, saw her compile an impressive undefeated streak in her first 22 fights and capture multiple titles. However, setbacks such as her defeat to Amanda Serrano in 2019 marked significant challenges.

In her brief MMA tenure with Bellator, Hardy achieved a 2-2 record, concluding with a loss to Taylor Turner in 2019.

ALSO READ | FULL FIGHT VIDEO: Heather Hardy returns to boxing with an impressive win

With a decorated combat sports legacy, including boxing, MMA, kickboxing, and Muay Thai bouts, Hardy retires with a professional record of 24 wins, 3 losses, and one no-contest, leaving behind a lasting impact on the sports community.

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