Here’s Lenne, that dynamic lady with the vivacious voice that has become a legend in the world of Mixed Martial Arts in Asia and around the world. If you’ve seen an MMA event in Asia, you have heard Lenne Hardt’s signature trill, ushering each fighter into the ring. She’s also ubiquitous on TV and radio with a plethora of commercials both on camera and voice, now too numerous to keep count of.
All MMA fans know the voice, most know the name Lenne Hardt, some know the enigmatic face framed by red curls, but few know the lady behind the legend. Lenne lives just around the corner from Tokyo’s spacious Yoyogi Park with her Kiwi husband Mal and their three dogs. When she’s not ringside, she’s often shooting a TV show or filming a movie or in the studio doing anime (avatars of Lenne herself in several shows and computer games) or she’s on stage putting her multifaceted voice to work in an eclectic array of performances, from the Japan Derby to music festivals or boat races or with a saucy side of Jazz vocals with her Lenne Hardt Jazz Cabaret Band. She’s also worked with several major Japanese pop groups like AKB48, J-Soul Brothers and Momoiro CloverZ.
With her exhilarating style, Lenne soon became “The Voice of Pride,” then “The Voice of DREAM”. Her reputation won her guest gigs at events in the US, Middle East,, Russia, Israel, Europe, Brazil, China, Australia. In 2012 Lenne joined the ONE Championship team based in Singapore and for which she was delighted to be called “The voice of ONE Championship”. In April 2017 Lenne left ONE Championship. Lenne continues her MMA announcing around the world with several organisations including regular gigs with RoadFC, HEX Fight Series, Real Fight and of course, Rizin Fighting Federation.
Lenne was born in Anchorage, Alaska, the youngest of six Air Force brats. Her father retired to a farm in Northern Idaho when she was five. Living out in her own little house on the prairie, Lenne was free to indulge her active imagination, acting out plays for her captive audience of pets, farm animals, and family. “I used to gaze up at airplanes winging across the sky, wondering to what adventures the magic birds were whisking the lucky passengers to.”
She did eventually move her performance into town where she was well received on local stage and television. Then, at 17, she flew from the nest all the way to New York City, via Tokyo. She joined her brother in Tokyo for a year abroad and then on to the Big Apple where she studied at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting and with Michael Shurtleff. In 1988 she returned to Japan where she landed a gig as a DJ on a new bilingual radio station. The rest, as they say, is history, a gilded success story for both Lenne Hardt and for the sport she adores, Mixed Martial Arts in Asia.
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