Cameron Hardy: “It’s been a great camp. I feel great and I am ready to put on a show.”

Cameron Hardy: “It’s been a great camp. I feel great and I am ready to put on a show.”

By Jack Rainbow

The past few months have been eventful for Cameron Hardy. After being given the luxury of quitting his job to go full-time last year, Cameron was also given a five-fight Cage Warriors contract, debuting  on the 25th of June:

“I am absolutely over the moon. When they first offered me a five-fight contract I was buzzing. It gives you confidence in yourself and some future goals. In those fights, I want to be heading for a world title and then ultimately the UFC. You know where you stand with that amount of time.”

Having not fought since early 2019, it is safe to say Cameron classes himself as a completely different fighter in June 2021:

“When I left the Navy I wasn’t even in the gym. I have gone from that to being full-time. I am under a new coach so I am learning lots of new things, especially being in camp with Davey Grant. It’s been a great camp and I am ready to put on a show.”

The one potentially awkward part  of his return stems from sharing the card with his previous opponent Harry Hardwick, however, Cameron is completely over that loss:

“Me and Harry have had quite a bit of craic since our last fight. I wished him luck on Bellator and it is good to see a few northeast lads on the card. I like supporting stuff like that. On getting it back, he is featherweight and I am bantamweight, so if he moved weight class then definitely. At Cage Warriors though I am willing to give anyone a go. With these five fights, there is no point picking a fight, you fight who you get given.”

An intriguing detail of his fight against Dominique Wooding is the weight class. Cameron will be dropping 10 pounds, cutting to bantamweight for the first time in his career:

“You know what, I actually feel much better than I thought I would. I thought,  by now I would be dying, but my weight is low and I am right on top of it. It is definitely the weight class for me. In my last couple of fights at 145 I was making dead easy, and  I walked around at 170. This made me realise I need to go to bantamweight, especially fighting tougher opponents.”

His opponent, Wooding has fought on bigger shows than Cameron and is seen as a tough first test. Cameron spoke of a clear excitement for this challenge:

“He is an all-round MMA fighter. His striking is his strong point and he is a tricky southpaw and I’m looking forward to the scrap. I would say it is my toughest opponent, based on his opposition and the fights he’s been in. That’s not to say I am not ready, I am ready to go in there and put on a show. I have tunnel vision and will always go for the finish, and that’s what’s exciting about this fight. All his wins are by KO, and this may sound weird but that is exciting for me. I know this will be a good watch. I watched both his fights in Bellator, and both were decisions, but he lost to two tough lads, and looked good.”

The training camp being full time is something Cameron referenced a lot, clearing gaining massive confidence from being able to fully commit to his craft:

“When I went full time in October I had loads of injuries. As December came I started to get rid of them but this camp has been absolutely fine. I have obviously got a few niggles but I am feeling good, training alongside Davey has been brilliant and I am feeling ready and prepared.”

“Honestly it has helped so much. I am not up at daft o’clock in the morning and back late at night. Getting paid by my sponsors is so helpful, not even just financially but for confidence. It means I have less to worry about and can purely focus on MMA.”

A noticeable part of Cameron’s camp is his alliance with UFC prospect Davey Grant. This has been prevalent in his growth as a fighter:

“It’s so helpful training with Davey. You don’t get much better preparation than that. We are similar fighters, so things that work for him work for me. We bounce off each other and I learn loads. I see my career 100% going to the UFC.  Cage Warriors is one of the best organizations in Europe. I will be fighting the tough guys and testing myself. It is a good road to the UFC so I wasn’t bothered about being anywhere else. This is the place to be.”

His return on Saturday marks the end of what has been over two years out the cage for Cameron. His excitement and hunger for the return were palpable:

“I just can’t wait to make that walk. Get that cage door shut and let me go for it. Even the whole traveling down and doing your weight, and a face-off, I just can’t wait for it all. Then obviously the Nandos after!”

The return of Cameron Hardy comes with a lot of firsts, a new camp, a new organisation, and a new weight class.

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