Current MMA fighter and former two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka Kayla Harrison has definite thoughts about which of her current and former pursuits are more difficult.
Harrison (3-0) recently spoke to MMA Junkie Radio, where she talked about the mental aspects of both sports:
“There’s no season in judo. I pretty much fought 12 to 15 times a year. I was also competing against multiple girls at every tournament. So it wasn’t like you had one person to prepare for. You had to prepare for the entire roster.”
Fighting under the PFL banner, Harrison’s mindset has had to adjust to a different type of competition:
“It’s been interesting mentally, because you don’t fight all the time,” she said. “It’s a lot harder to fight back to back with injuries and opponents, especially for females. And No. 2, thinking about one girl for six or eight or 12 weeks straight, I’ve found it’s a different kind of mental exhaustion.
However, she emphasizes:
“… I’m enjoying it. Part of the struggle has been allowing the experts to live inside as the beginner (in MMA). I’m a beginner in striking, I’m a beginner in wrestling, I’m a beginner in MMA. So I’m trying to finalize that balance and utilize my judo in the best way possible, but also grow as an MMA fighter.”
Harrison is fighting Moriel Charneski (0-0) on PFL’s New Year’s Eve card, and is the favorite in the promotion’s upcoming women’s lightweight tournament, which will take place in 2019.