Two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, Kayla Harrison, announced on Monday’s The MMA Hour with Ariel Hewlani that she will be making her MMA debut at PFL 2 on June 21 in Chicago.
Harrison, a former Ronda Rousey training partner, signed with World Series of Fighting last year as a commentator. Despite signing to a commentary gig, the potential to compete for the organization was always present.
WSOF, now rebranded as the Professional Fighters League (PFL), will be hosting it’s first and second cards in June and Kayla Harrison will be competing.
“I’ve been waiting for a long time to fight. First, it was just me, I wanted to get my feet wet, get in there, see if I liked getting punched in the face,” Harrison told Hewlani. “Now that I’ve established that I do, we’ve sort of been waiting for the PFL to get their stuff together. Their stuff is together.”
The 27-year-old will be competing on June 21 in Chicago in the 145-pound division. PFL expects to set up a tournament for the women’s featherweight division in 2019. In judo, Harrison comepted at 172 pounds.
At the 2012 London Olympics, Harrison became the first American to win a gold medal in judo. Four years later at the Rio de Janiero Olympics in 2016, she took gold again. With her Olympic career behind her, Harrison is focused on impressing in her highly anticipated MMA debut.
“I want to be the best, undisputed. I want everyone to say, oh, who’s the best MMA fighter in the world? Oh, that’s Kayla Harrison.”
Kayla Harrison has moved to Coconut Creek, Florida, to train at American Top Team alongside some of the best fighters and coaches in the world.
“I think for me, having someone like Amanda (Nunes) and Joanna (Jedrzejczyk), are both such superstars — when I was younger I had Ronda. And I was always watching Ronda and they always gave Ronda all the attention and I was like, ‘I want that. I want to be the superstar. I want to be the golden girl. So having actual people in front of me who I can look at every day and say, ‘That’s where I want to be,’ is a really positive thing for me.”
How do you think Kayla Harrison will fair in her MMA debut?