The Kayla Harrison vs. Holly Holm match-up was a surprise bout added to the stacked UFC 300 fight card. There could be problems in finalizing it, however, Holm expects that her opponent will slim down to 135 pounds. Something, that the former Judoka has never done before in her fighting career.
The signing of one of the top female fighters by a world-leading MMA promotion makes perfect sense, of course. However, Kayla Harrison has stated on many occasions that she’s satisfied with her status in PFL and had her sights set on fighting Cris Cyborg. The fight didn’t come to fruition and now, after Harrison signing with the UFC, that fight is totally off the table. Scheduled to make her promotional debut on April 13th, Harrison must now manage to cut down her weight to the bantamweight limit of 135 pounds. The problem is that he fought most of her career in the lightweight division (155 lbs) and only once came down to 145 pounds.
During her recent appearance on the MMA Hour show, Holly Holm, a former UFC Women’s bantamweight title holder, spoke on the whole 135-pound situation. The one main aspect is if she would fight Harrison if the PFL champion if Harrison didn’t make the weight:
“I think that there’s a lot of details around that. Somebody can be depleted, but somebody can be faster if they’re not carrying around extra weight too. So I guess we’ll just see what happens when we get in there and we get to the fight… I don’t really know her history, I don’t think she’s ever missed weight. So I think she can be professional about it. As long as it’s not one of those things where it’s like, ‘I’ll get close enough and then hopefully still get the fight,’ nothing like that. Be professional about it and make weight and we’re ready to rock and roll.”
This is true, as Harrison never missed weight before. She made her professional MMA debut as a lightweight and rammed through the competition in the PFL back in 2018 and 2019. At the time, her sole fight outside the promotion took place at Invicta FC 43. That also was the only time, when she dropped to 145 pounds to take on and win over Courtney King. Since then she returned to PFL, repeating her achievements.
Interestingly enough, Harrison’s last fight was a catchweight affair against Aspen Ladd at 150 lbs. The former Olympian was fine fighting a replacement fighter within a lower weight limit. Holm, however, is not willing to do the same for her. Even though, she has stepped up to featherweight to fight for the UFC gold in the past.
“I’m on the stance that you need to make weight, that’s just how it is. I think that her mindset should be on, ‘I’m going to make weight,’ because she took the fight at 135. So I think it’s simple. I don’t think it should be super detailed… You think about the fight with ‘Wonderboy’, his opponent came in three pounds over and people were like, ‘Oh, it’s only three pounds.’ And he’s like, ‘Yeah, if it’s only three pounds, then go lose the three pounds.’ You know what I mean? There’s two ways to look at it. It’s only this or it’s only that. You can look at it from a lot of different angles, but as a professional, find out how to make weight. I work hard to make my weight, so I expect the same.”