Bellator 233 fighter to watch: Janay Harding

Tyrell Fortune details near-death weight cut ahead of Bellator 233 by Amy Kaplan

Jon Gruden and the Raiders are proving everybody wrong by Kevin Parvizi

Bellator 233 will see a lot of big-time fighters like Costello Van Steenis and Muhammed Lawal in action but Janay Harding is the one to watch.

Janay ‘Hollowpoint’ Harding has a career record of 5-3 and is looking for her third straight win inside the Bellator cage against Amanda Bell. Harding has proven to be one of the better fighters in the women’s featherweight division, utilizing a combination of boxing and karate to formulate a successful standing attack.

At Bellator 233 Harding will need to capitalize on her opponent’s eagerness. Harding, unlike Bell, is more calm and cerebral in her offense. With good conditioning and constant movement on her feet, Harding makes herself a hard target to hit or last against. Taller than most in her weight class, the 5’10 Harding uses her reach and quick steps to keep distance while throwing jabs and front kicks for quick and easy points. Her stamina is also impressive on a three-round basis, leaving most opponents drained by the end of the fight.

She’s shown to have a great clinch attack, able to throw devastating knees and elbows from the position, utilizing her leverage and power to assert her will. She has exceptional knockout power as well, winning all but one of her five fights by TKO. Her ability to throw combos has served her well, and her boxing training has been a big reason for that. She has more head movement than most fighters at her age, and because of this keeps herself from getting stunned too often.

She has a tendency to get flashy when ducking from and diving under big blows, opening herself up to a potential problem if she were to fight a top-notch striker. She doesn’t have many holes beyond that. Even if she’s not known for her groundwork, she’s proven to be able to avoid a sambo world champion like Marina Mokhnatkina and outstrike her for three rounds, so she clearly has a good defensive ground game when needed. Her length also allows her to fight off attempts at ground submissions, utilizing her reach to efficiently administer accurate strikes. It’s hard to lock in a kneebar when the woman keeps landing shots to your face as you apply.

Harding’s next fight is Bellator 233 against Bell, who is 2-2 in Bellator and 6-6 overall. Despite Bell’s .500 record, she’s a hard out and will make this a competitive fight. One that Harding should be able to win. Bell has shown an eagerness to go for big wins, earning stoppage finish in five of her six. Bell, however, tends to fall victim the same way she wins, being stopped in all but one of her losses. Bell is someone who will open herself up for a knockout or a submission victory if you can time it just right. With Harding’s near-elite level of talent on her feet and the ability to stun just about anyone with her skills, it wouldn’t be much of a surprise to see Bell get dropped for a fifth KO/TKO finish for Harding.

A win here might set her up against newcomer and MMA veteran Cat Zingano in a bout that could have title implications.

Bellator 233 takes place on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, live from the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, OK. Follow along with FanSided MMA for all your live results and highlights.

Next: 15 of the best female MMA fighters of all time

Written by