UFC 300: Kayla Harrison Vows To Surpass Amanda Nunes, Henry Cejudo To Be Combat Sports ‘GOAT’

Harrison also previews her upcoming bout with Holly Holm and talks being tied to Ronda Rousey.

Harrison Ufc 300
(via @kaylaharrisonofficial - Instagram)

Kayla Harrison is setting her ceiling high ahead of her UFC debut.

At 33 years old, Harrison (16-1) has covered almost all the bases in combat sports. The American Top Team product is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, PFL women’s lightweight champion among many other accolades. Ex-PFL star Harrison will look to add ‘UFC Champion’ to her resume after signing with the promotion earlier this year.

A ‘Legend’ Awaits Harrison At UFC 300

Harrison’s first test comes against the ultra-experienced, ex-champ Holly Holm (15-6) at UFC 300 on Apr. 13. In 2015, Holm captured the women’s bantamweight title with a headkick knockout of Ronda Rousey, who’s also an Olympic champ in Judo as well as a former teammate of Harrison’s. 

Holm, 42, may have outclassed the high-level judoka with her kickboxing back then, but Harrison doesn’t expect lightning to strike twice, much less against her.

“It was like total and complete shock,” Harrison said of Holm’s KO over Rousey (via UFC). “I’m a top totally different fighter from Ronda, so I don’t make I don’t draw that comparison.

“I just think about, this word gets thrown around a lot, but really what a legend [Holm] is in the sport and how her longevity, the way she’s been able to stay in the top ten for so long and stay relevant and and continue to grow and and thrive as a fighter is something that, man, that’s a really difficult thing to do. The window for fighters is usually really small, and she’s stretched it out. So I know she’s an amazing fighter, and I’m really excited to share the cage with her.”

Holm isn’t the only MMA ‘legend’ Harrison looks up to. 

Several women have made a lasting impact on the sport, such as former champs Valentina Shevchenko, Joanna Jedrezejcyzk, Cris Cyborg and the aforementioned Ronda Rousey. But, retired two-division champion Amanda Nunes belongs in a category of her own for being one of the most dominant fighters we’ve ever seen in the UFC.

Something To Prove

Harrison, a longtime teammate of Nunes, has seen up close what ‘The Lioness’ has been able to accomplish. Entering the Octagon for the first time next month, Harrison hopes she can not only live up to Nunes’ legacy, but someday surpass it. The same can be said for Henry Cejudo as he’s a former champ-champ and an Olympic gold medalist, like Harrison.

“I think she’s had an amazing career,” Harrison said of Nunes. “I’m excited to push that envelope and see if I can match her, beat her, climb there, get there.

“This is the argument that I’ve had with Henry [Cejudo], like a bazillion times about he’s the greatest combat athlete all the time. I said, Henry, honey, I’m coming for you. Like, you have won Olympic [gold medal] just one. What are you gonna do with one? Come over here real quick to the UFC. Win a belt. Maybe win another belt real quick, defend it, and be two-time UFC champion and then I am and a world champion, and a Pan [American] champion, and a Pan Am Games champ. Anyways, I will be undisputed, the greatest combat athlete of all time. I’m pumped. It feels like the Olympics.”

Will Kayla Harrison live up to her aspirations in the UFC?

Published on March 29, 2024 at 2:04 pm
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