Hardwick Brothers Back In Bellator Action

Images; Bellator, Lee Hamilton-Cooper

Middlesbrough mixed martial artists George and Harry Hardwick are set to make their Bellator return on Saturday September 26th when they face off with SBG’s Nicolo Solli and Richie Smullen, respectively.

George will be making the walk to the Bellator cage for the second time this year, coming off the back of a promotional debut victory against Richard Kiely back in February at the 3Arena, Dublin. George moves back down to Lightweight to face Italian prospect, Solli – a whole 20lbs lighter than when he fought in February.

This will be the first time Harry, the elder of the two, will compete this year. Last November, ‘Houdini’ reigned victorious with a decision victory against Nathan ‘Black’Rose. During the second round, Hardwick sustained a nasty cut to his forehead, leaving him sidelined for months. 

Hardwick faces one of his toughest challenges to date when he squares off with SBG Ireland’s Richie Smullen. Both Hardwick & Smullen are known for their advanced ground games and scrambles, this one could well be a Jiu Jitsu fan’s dream!

This will be the first time the brothers will compete on the same card since turning professional. They are usually in each other’s corner, something they’ll unlikely be able to do on Saturday. But as George explained, this won’t affect any in Cage performance:  “There might still be a chance to corner each other if the fights are far enough apart and commission regulations allow it but no guarantees. If not it won’t throw me off my game. We prepare each other to perform for hours upon hours a day in training. We don’t rely on giving each other a few buzzwords a pep talk between rounds.”

Harry added: “We’ve fought on the same card a few times as amateurs so it’s nothing we aren’t prepared for, it’s a really good opportunity for us to make a big statement with two big wins on the same night.”

Unlike many combat athletes, the brothers were able to continue their contact training throughout lockdown as they live together. They told SevereMMA they believe this gives them an advantage going into this one. 

Harry said: “George did my head in to be honest, cabin fever and a sibling rivalry isn’t a good combination when you’re sparring in a very small space. On the plus side is all of our skills have stayed razor sharp and we were pretty much in fight shape when we got the fight offers so none of the focus of this training camp for either of us was losing a lockdown belly or re-learning how to fight.” George added: “Whilst everyone else was doing squats with a weight vest or zumba in their living room I was getting in padwork rounds, technique drills and spars in daily with another pro fighter on the complete same wavelength. A lot of fighters will have kept fit during lockdown but me and Harry are some of the only few who will have improved.”

The fight night will be the first of three, within the space of 1 week, Bellator will be holding at the Allianz Cloud, Milan. The brother’s bouts can be watched live on Bellator MMA’s YouTube Channel