Kayla Harrison Addresses Comparisons to Ronda Rousey Ahead of UFC Debut: ‘I’m My Own Person’

Harrison is ready to show the world that she's more than a clone of the UFC's first-ever women's champion

Kayla Harrison
Courtesy of @MMAFighting on X

Kayla Harrison doesn’t take issue with being compared to women’s MMA pioneer Ronda Rousey

With that said, the two-time PFL champion plans on writing her own story when she makes her highly anticipated Octagon debut this Saturday night at the promotion’s next landmark event in Las Vegas. 

“Look, Ronda is a pioneer in this sport,” Harrison said during her appearance at the UFC 300 media day. “She’s the whole reason I’m sitting here today. I’m not going to take knocks at her or be insulted by it. I think the hardest part is that I’m my own person. I’m my own person. We’re just different, but I have a lot of respect for her, and I’m grateful for everything she was able to accomplish in this sport and to help grow it for women and shatter ceilings.

“Now, my job is to stand on top of her shoulders and continue to do that.”

Harrison recognizes that there are undeniable similarities between Rousey and herself, particularly when it comes to their meteoric rise to the top of the WMMA world. But the two-time Olympic gold medalist ultimately believes that her style is different than that of the former bantamweight world champion — something she plans to hammer home in her UFC debut.

“I’m not comparing myself to anyone or anything,” Harrison said. “I’m my own person. I have my own path. I just try to keep walking it every day, one foot in front of the other. Of course, everyone wants to be a star. The goal is not to be a star. The goal is to be UFC champion and be so f*cking good, you can’t ignore me, and then to use this platform to change the world how I want to.

“There’s steps to it, and really being a star isn’t a piece of it. It’s something that I guess everyone wants to talk about, but I just want to be so good that you guys have no choice but to call me the queen.”

Kayla Harrison Ready to Test Herself Against ‘Legend’ Holly Holm

Interestingly, Kayla Harrison’s first fight under the UFC banner will come against the very woman who handed Ronda Rousey her first loss in MMA — Holly Holm

“I don’t say legend lightly,” Harrison said about Holm. “I think it takes a special kind of person to be a UFC champion, to be in the top 10 for so long, to stay relevant, and to evolve as much as she’s evolved. She has a super-high fight IQ. She’s got excellent footwork.

“We know that she has a striking background, but she’s evolved into a very well-rounded mixed martial artist. I think she’s probably the toughest test in the division for me.”

Watch Kayla Harrison’s full media day appearance below:

Published on April 10, 2024 at 9:21 pm
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