Five in Five with Janay "Hollow-point" Harding

Five in Five with Janay "Hollow-point" Harding

Janay Harding 2.jpeg

New Zealand born Janay “Hollow-point” Harding is one of the new breed of Australasian female fighters carving it up on the world stage.

 The 24-year-old, of Tainui descent, recently claimed her first win for a major promotion when she defeated SBG’s Sinead Kavanagh in the first round at Bellator 207. An exciting and dynamic fighter, all four of Harding’s victories inside the cage have come via stoppage. With a return to the cage early 2019 Hollow-point is one to watch!

New Zealand Fighter’s Isaac Savage recently caught up with the burgeoning star and put the following questions to her as part of our five in five series.

Janay ‘Hollow-point’ Harding –

We know you’re based in Aus, can you tell us more about your Maori heritage and kiwi roots?

I was born in Christchurch where I spent the first ten years of my life before relocating to Queensland, Australia. My mum is a Christchurch local and my dad is from Auckland after he was whangai from Ngaruawahia. We come from the Tainui iwi and very close to the Moari Queen’s blood line. Unfortunately I haven’t had a lot of opportunity to completely delve into my cultural roots and learn more Te Reo Maori but it’s definitely on my to do list in the not too distant future and I love looking into the Maori heritage.

The term hollow-point refers to an expanding bullet, designed to maim and cause collateral damage – why such such a nasty nickname?

After my very first fight and victory came by way of first round TKO, a few of us were playing around with words and different nicknames and that one seemed to fit in well! The hollow-point is a devastating weapon and I like to think it works with my knockout ratio. 

We are seeing more and more women competing at the top levels of combat sports, what got you started and what does it mean to be part of one of the worlds premier organisations?

Originally what got me started in combat sports was Shodokan Karate. After trying a number of hobbies, I really seemed to gravitate towards the individual aspect of Martial Arts and continued to grow more fond of it as time went on. It’s great to be one of the few women pioneering new divisions in the top MMA promotions and to me it makes for an easier and more normalised journey for those women to come. Increasing the popularity of WMMA has always been a great concern of mine and I’m glad I can use my platform to prove that all women, of all types can compete in a male dominated sport such as MMA. 

What advice would you give to all the aspiring female fighters who wish make a career in MMA?

I am a massive advocate in seeing more and more females making a career out of MMA and I would say to stick at it. Stay true to your self and if you love the sport then continue to move forward, whether it be gaining more experience in the cage, more exposure or improving your training then go all out and go for it.

What’s next and where can we catch your next fight?

We’re looking towards February for my next bout with Bellator as I still have 3 fights left on this contract. I’m loving Bellator and looking forward to seeing where they send me next and who against. 

If I’m not on the main card the easiest way to watch is via the Bellator app and Website.

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