The featherweight prospect had an opportunity to compete on season one of Dana White’s Tuesday Night Contender Series, but visa issues caused her to lose that chance.
“It was a visa issue, not necessarily that I got denied. I didn’t have enough…you need a very large case load to back up your claim with being an MMA fighter or whatever you claim to be in your profession. Therefor, they said that I didn’t have enough information. So I needed like more letters and I guess like more articles from my line (of work) and stuff like that, but once I finally got my Bellator (contract)…(they) finally set up my visa earlier this year so I could find mistakes. That ended up being like a 65 page bio, (it took) a long time and it was just more of a time thing. I mean the contender series…there is a thousand other people that want to take that opportunity and it was gonna take too long for them to send it back to the visa people and then get it back and possibly not even get approved after that. They didn’t want to take the risk and it taking to long and me getting denied, it just kind of perplexed me,” says Harding in an exclusive interview with Fightful’s James Lynch.
Harding now has to put that lost opportunity on the Contender Series behind her, because the bout at Bellator 207 serves as the first fight in Harding’s contract with Bellator MMA.
A win over Kavanagh would give Harding her first victory in Bellator MMA and Harding has a plan to make that happen.
“I’m definitely looking for a finish, all of my professional wins are from finishes. I’m looking to get back on track on that, hoping that what I do is a little bit more exciting then what I’ve done in the past. Usually I just knock out with punches, we’re gonna look for something a little bit different. Maybe some knees and kicks and elbows and stuff,” says Harding.
Bellator 207 takes place on Friday, October 12 from the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut with Ryan Bader and Matt Mitrione headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs live on the Paramount Network.