Can Kayla Harrison Reach Beyond Ronda Rousey?

Photo Courtesy: Fernando Frazão

By Kyler Kuehler

Former Judoka and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison has quickly made a transition to MMA. She has had two fights in just two months apart with both leading to victories. She is on a great start, but still has a long way to go.

With a long road ahead she strives to leave an impact of her own on the sport.

How big of an impact will she leave? Can she live up to the hype a gold medalist is expected to? Or will she reach up to former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Ronda Rousey or go beyond?

So many questions and Harrison looks to answer them all with a great resume.

We already know her MMA record of 2-0 and her judo record consist of 27-2. Very obvious she has extreme grappling techniques, but what about her striking.

In her first fight against Brittney Elkin, she won via armbar in round one, so her grappling is great.

Come to her second fight she defeated Jozette Cotton via TKO in round three. So it took her longer to finish her second fight. So she has some work to do with her striking─okay.

Rousey always finished a majority of her fights in seconds within round one.

Seems like she might not be on the road to Rousey’s fame. Hold on─Rousey really only had judo and not much striking. Due to her finishing fights quickly no one was able to really study her style. When facing Miesha Tate, Liz Carmouche, and Holly Holm her striking was revealed to be not so great. Causing her downfall and Harrison looks to avoid those mistakes made by Rousey.

Now, she is still new so she hasn’t faced any real threats, but MMA has many surprises.
Competing in the Professional Fighters League (PFL) she has the chance to gain more experience and build her momentum.

With the PFL consisting of tournament style events rather than random fights, she will have opportunities to fight constantly. By being more active she will increase her skill set more and possibly catch the eye of the UFC someday.

I know she wants to face bigger competition and the UFC is full of it.

Also, she wants to show her skills in front of millions rather than just hundreds or thousands.

By continuing to improve she will do just that and have her chance to accomplish more than Rousey did.