Kayla Harrison: Expectations were abnormally high for Kayla Harrison when she decided to make the move from judo to mixed martial arts.Harrison set the world on the fire in becoming the first American to win a gold medal in judo at the 2012 Summer Olympics and then winning gold again at the 2016 Olympics. Realizing she had nothing else to prove, she transitioned to the gloves earlier this year.
It’s hard to blame the 28-year-old fighter who has already reached incredible heights in her combat sports career. As a judoka, Harrison became the first American to take home gold at the Olympic games when she conquered London in 2012; she made history a second time, defending her Olympic title at the Rio games in 2016.
Predictably, Harrison’s dominance led to curiosity over whether she would follow in the footsteps of former training partner Ronda Rousey and seek stardom in the MMA world. Harrison deflected the questions for as long as she could before eventually signing on as a commentator for the World Series of Fighting promotion in 2016 with the understanding that she would likely step into the cage herself.
Kayla Harrison Talks Spearheading Women’s 155-Pound Division.
During the PFL 11 pre-fight press conference, Harrison told MMA News that she’s excited to work with PFL to prove that the women’s 155-pound division is here to stay:
“I’m young but I’m hungry, you know. There’s no pressure quite like Olympic pressure, there’s no pressure quite like the pressure that I put on myself. I want to be the best in the world. I want to beat everyone there is to beat and the PFL has given me that opportunity. They’ve believed in me from day one. We’re breaking ceilings, 155 pounds it’s never been done for women but we’re gonna do it and we’re gonna do it in style.”
Harrison made her pro MMA debut back in June. She defeated Brittney Elkin via first-round submission. Harrison’s second bout proved to be a bit more of a stern test, but she got the job done again with a third-round TKO victory over Jozette Cotton.
MMA News will be on the scene for PFL 11. Join us for live results, highlights and post-fight tidbits.
Kayla Harrison made it known that despite the huge fight between Cris Cyborg and Amanda Nunes happening this weekend, that she is, in fact, “the baddest woman on the planet.” This claim came after stating that the pressure of this fight does not nearly compare to the pressures of the Olympic stage.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is one of the most talked about prospects in the entire sport of mixed martial arts as she prepares to make her third appearance inside the cage at the Professional Fighters League (PFL) card on New Year’s Eve.
Considering she did what no other American had done in judo in the Olympics, including former UFC champion Ronda Rousey, it’s understandable why the spotlight has been so bright on Harrison this early in her career.
She may be very young in her mixed martial arts experience but Harrison’s manager Ali Abdelaziz says that she’s already got goals in mind like becoming the best women’s fighter of all time.