Kayla Harrison is the fighter to watch at UFC 300

Kayla Harrison will fight under the UFC spotlight for the first time at UFC 300.
2023 PFL Championships
2023 PFL Championships / Cooper Neill/GettyImages

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison will look to begin her new MMA chapter by making a big statement at UFC 300. Harrison faces former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm in her first Octagon test at UFC 300 on April 13. After signing with the UFC in January, Harrison will make her promotional debut on one of the biggest cards of 2024.

It will be a fight filled with firsts for the UFC debuting Harrison, who will make her first appearance at bantamweight (135 pounds). She's fought at lightweight (155 pounds) and featherweight (145 pounds) during her professional MMA career, earning two women's lightweight titles in the PFL.

Harrison will jump into the bantamweight mix when she faces the former titleholder Holm at UFC 300. A victory over Holm could move Harrison one step closer to a potential bantamweight title shot. Harrison's pre-fight battle could potentially sway how the matchup plays out. Many have questioned whether or not Harrison will make weight ahead of a significant cut to 135 pounds.

Kayla Harrison faces Holly Holm in highly-anticipated UFC debut

Despite concerns over her pre-fight weight cut, Harrison is confident she'll make the bantamweight limit without issue. Her last fight was in November in a women's featherweight bout against Aspen Ladd at the 2023 PFL Championship.

As of this writing, Harrison has never missed weight during her MMA career. She's also allegedly undergone multiple test cuts ahead of UFC 300. Harrison has been one of the most dominant forces outside the UFC during her MMA career. She's spent most of her fighting career in the PFL, winning two titles and earning a series of quick finishes in the cage.

Harrison won her first 15 professional fights and seemed indomitable before a loss to Larissa Pacheco at the 2022 PFL Championship. She was sidelined from the 2023 PFL season despite calling for a chance at redemption against Pacheco. Before her MMA run, Harrison made herself into a global star by winning two Olympic gold medals in women's judo. She earned gold at the 2012 and 2016 Summer Olympics.

Harrison and Holm are both looking to make a big statement at UFC 300. Holm, who returns after a no-contest against Mayra Bueno Silva in July 2023, is looking to reclaim the magic that led to her earning the women's bantamweight title. Holm presents a unique challenge for Harrison with her striking prowess. Despite potentially being on the tail-end of her career, Holm is a dangerous striker for all opponents, which Harrison arguably hasn't faced.

Harrison's UFC signing is one of the biggest in recent promotional history, and she's looking to carry over her superstardom from the SmartCage to the Octagon. She'll face a tough test for her first UFC fight, but if Harrison's illustrious resume is any indication, she's ready to welcome all challenges.


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