Kayla Harrison speaks on weight cut prior to UFC 300

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Kayla Harrison’s much anticipated UFC debut comes with doubts about her making the 135-pound weight limit. A two-time Olympic gold medalist and PFL women’s champion is pretty sure about her abilities to slim down, especially if it’s part of the process of conquering the biggest MMA promotion in the world. 

In her  recent interview with KevinIole.com Harrison said this about her signing with the UFC:

“I am really happy with my career as a two-time Olympic gold medalist and a judo world championship and a two-time PFL champion. I feel like there’s one mountain left for me to climb and this is it. I like big risk and I like big rewards. This is a whole new realm for me, and a huge challenge. I like that. I like the feeling of being a little scared, you know? I feel like your dreams should scare the shit out of you, and this is that.”

Kayla Harrison will make her promotional debut at UFC 300 on April 13 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. She will face the former UFC women’s bantamweight title holder, Holly Holm. Many fans and even Holm herself questioned Harrison’s ability to make weight. Now without reason, she competed at 172 pounds in the Olympics and at both 155 and 145 pounds in her MMA career. 

Her response to the doubters is that she made a test cut and everything went fine. Her main priority is to become a UFC champion, but not at the cost of doing herself physical harm. 

“I wouldn’t have made the move if I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it. We did a test cut. Everything was measured, from my heart rate to my blood pressure to my blood sugar. We did a test recovery. We did a test simulated fight. Everything has been dialed in and everything has been tested. I’m really confident in my team and I’m really confident in myself. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the things in life that are worth having are usually not easy [to obtain].”

Still, despite her physique Harrison was always the smaller fighter facing bigger opponents. Now, according to her, it will not be the case. And as far as her weight goes, she’s walking around 165 pounds: 

“There’s a misperception out there that I walk around at like 180 pounds or something,” she asid. “I have walked around most of my MMA career at 165, 160, because I don’t like cutting weight. I don’t believe in cutting weight. I don’t think it sends the right message to kids. That being said, I don’t agree with this but sometimes you have to show up and do things you don’t agree with in order to make your dreams come true. The whole time I was [in the PFL], I walked around at 165, maybe 160 and so not only was I usually the smaller fighter with less experience, I was getting in the cage with girls who were getting in there at 180, 175 pounds. Now, that’s not going to be the case.”

All of that will play in her favor, says Harrison: 

“Now, I’m going to be the bigger, stronger, faster and, in a lot of cases I believe, the more experienced fighter. It’s a case, I think, that I started off backwards, beginning [at the higher weight] but I was able to be successful because of my pedigree and the skill set that I brought to MMA. But now I have experience and now I am seasoned. The weight [cut] part’s going to suck, but it sucks for everyone and I’m not special.”

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