World Sport

Kayla Harrison to make professional MMA debut this summer

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Two-time Olympic Champion in Women’s Judo Kayla Harrison is set to make her professional MMA debut this summer against a yet to be determined opponent. Harrison, 26 who created history at the 2012 London Olympics by becoming the first American woman to win a gold medal in Judo when she defeated Britain’s Gemma Gibbons in the 78kg category and then successfully defended her title four years later in Rio, said that she was honoured to be following in the footsteps of fellow Olympians who turned professional after competing in the Olympics in combat sports like fellow Judoka Ronda Rousey and Freestyle Wrestler Sara Mc Mann.

Speaking to Fight! Magazine Harrison said:

“I will be making my professional debut in MMA in the Women’s Bantamweight Division this summer against a yet to be determined opponent. I have already done the work in the gym to shed the extra pounds I needed to compete in that Division. I am very excited because now I will have the opportunity to showcase my fighting ability on a more regular basis and get paid to do it. Hopefully I’ll continue to be a just as successful in the Octagon as I was on the Olympic mat.”

Asked by Reporter Jim Anderson if she felt that she was throwing herself to the wolves given the type of talent and depth there is now in Women’s MMA with the likes of current Bantamweight Champion Amanda Nunes and Valentina Shevchenko, the confident American replied:

“Of course not. In fact, I know very well what to expect when I enter the Octagon. It’s much different from the Judo mat at the Olympics where you may not know much about your opponent and just have to rely on what you have learnt in the gym.”

She continued:

“Right now I am working with K1 Legend and Former World Champion - Dutchman Ernesto Hoost and he said that he was quite impressed with my striking ability and strength. I am learning his style of fighting which involved Kickboxing and Savate. That, coupled with my strong Judo background would make me quite a formidable opponent in the Octagon.”

Harrison went on:

“Didn’t Ronda Rousey go on to become a successful MMA Champion when she turned professional after winning a bronze medal in Judo at the 2008 Olympics? Didn’t Sara Mc Mann also turn professional after competing as a freestyle wrestler in the 2004 Games? Although I am honoured to be following in their footsteps, one must ask the question, where are they now in terms of their careers? Although Ronda dominated the Women’s Bantamweight Division for a while, where is she now? Contemplating retirement perhaps? How did her last two fights end up? What about Sara? What has she won in MMA? If my Olympic record is anything to go by, it’s safe to conclude that I’ll probably enjoy greater success than them.”

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#1 @ 6 years ago
by earth-heat - Quiet veteran

Now listen here you little idiots... well, I laughed.

23 comments, registered 8 years ago
#2 @ 6 years ago
by AntsBarracuda - Quiet veteran

earth-heat wrote

Now listen here you little idiots... well, I laughed.

I want this printed on a mug. I didn't not UN-abhor this.

12 comments, registered 9 years ago
#3 @ 6 years ago
by Grip_Territory - Ghost

Meh. Sure, why not.

2 comments, registered 6 years ago
#4 @ 6 years ago
by AntsBarracuda - Quiet veteran

I thought it was weird. How droll.

12 comments, registered 9 years ago

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