Anyone who has witnessed a ONE Fighting Championship event first-hand will no doubt have left with their ears still ringing from the piercing cries of ring announcer Lenne Hardt.
Rather than being an unpleasant oratory intrusion, American-born Hardt gives fans an exhilarating introduction during each fighter’s entrance to the arena in her distinctive style, which includes high-pitched screeches and alveolar trills.
Hardt will be calling out the combatants at this Friday’s 'ONE FC: Rise of the Kingdom' fight card at Koh Pich Theatre, providing an unforgettable accompaniment to what looks set to be a night of top-class action in the cage.
“ONE FC’s events are definitely great because of the exciting fights and the energy level is always high at all these sold-out stadiums that we are in,” Hardt told the Post yesterday.
“The production quality and the enthusiastic fans all across Asia make all ONE FC events fantastic experiences. I match the style, music and personality of each fighter with the swell of applause and ovation the crowd so generously pours into the stadium.”
A long-term resident of Japan, Hardt started out as an MMA ring announcer in 2000 for Japanese organisation Pride FC. After its sale in 2007, she joined DREAM and also did work with Glory World Series.
She currently announces at all ONE FC events across the region while also travelling to Europe to work for Moscow-based promotion Legend Show FC. Former Japanese pro wrestler-turned-politician Antonio Inoki employs her for his Inoki Genome Federation shows.
“More conventional ring calls up to the time I started didn’t celebrate these amazing athletes and link their energy with the dedicated MMA spectators’ excitement with the pomp and circumstance their feats of athleticism deserved. I thought it was time to up the game a bit and raise the bar to a more fitting, fighting level,” Hardt said.
“I heard that Cambodians are huge fans of combat sports and I am excited to experience the energy level that the Cambodian crowd can bring to Koh Pich Theatre during ONE FC fight night.
I am also very excited about the Featherweight Cambodian Grand Prix that will unveil the Cambodian featherweight champion.
“Of course, I am also looking forward to meeting the people in Cambodia and experiencing the sights and sounds of the city,” she added.
When pressed as to what she would be doing if she wasn’t working as a ring announcer, Hardt simply replied: “I can’t imagine doing anything else. Best job in the world!”