Kayla Harrison made her long-awaited debut for the Professional Fighters League on Thursday night. Harrison submitted Brittney Elkin with an Armbar at 3:18 of the first round. Harrison was oozing grappling talent and had her way with Elkin for most of the fight. Harrison Signed with PFL October 2016 and is a two-time Olympic gold medalist.
Harrison is coming in with one of the strongest bases that you can come into to MMA with and that’s Judo. The level of talent in the women’s 145-pound division is not great either. If Harrison is brought along properly she will skyrocket to the top of the Rankings and can develop any kind of a decent striking game to pair with her incredible judo base she could be a superstar.
It’s hard not to immediately compare Harrison to former judo training partner Ronda Rousey. Harrison has a blueprint for success and failure in Rousey. Ronda was a slick ground fighter that submitted everything in sight and never got better with any other aspect of her game until it was too late. The Caliber of fighters that Rousey was facing in most cases had no business fighting except for few expectations. Eventually, the talent pool caught up to her and well we know how that story ended. Rousey was a great fighter, but it’s easy to see where she made mistakes. Harrison needs to succeed where Rousey failed and she will be destined for greatness.