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UFC 300’s Kayla Harrison addresses weight concerns: ‘I don’t believe in cutting weight’


Kayla Harrison is changing things up for arguably her biggest fight yet.

UFC 300 will be a huge night in the mixed martial arts (MMA) world. Amongst the many great match ups on tap will be the surprise debut of former two-time Professional Fighters League (PFL) women’s Lightweight champion, Harrison, who fights former UFC women’s Bantamweight champion, Holly Holm.

Aside from Harrison’s first appearance inside the Octagon, it will also be her first time fighting below 145 pounds as she cuts to make the 136-pound limit. In Harrison’s Judo days when she won her two Olympic gold medals, she competed at 171 pounds. The natural size she’s always had has provided many in the community with concern for her ability to make her new weight class.

”There’s a misperception out there that I walk around at like 180 pounds or something,” Harrison told KevinIole.com. “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,” she concluded. “Now, that’s not going to be the case.”

Harrison, 33, expects to have size, strength, and speed on her side against her new stablemates in UFC. In her 17-fight career 16-1) thus far, Harrison has wasted no time gaining experience and is only five fights behind Holm’s 22-fight career (15-6, 1 no contest), which started in 2011 compared to Harrison in 2018.

“I wouldn’t have made the move if I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it,” Harrison said. “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,” she added. “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].

“The weight [cut] part’s going to suck, but it sucks for everyone, and I’m not special,” Harrison concluded.

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