(CTN News) – Kayla Harrison is now a UFC fighter after waiting for years.
The Olympic gold medalist turned Professional Fighters League fighter will make her UFC debut against Holly Holm at UFC 300 on April 13, Dana White announced Tuesday.
Outside of the UFC, Kayla Harrison is the most famous female mixed martial artist. In 2012 and 2016, she became the only American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo at 78 kg. The 2016 title led her to become one of the most popular PFL players.
During her PFL career, Kayla Harrison enjoyed a 15-fight unbeaten streak, including one fight with Invicta. Aspen Ladd, a former UFC fighter, was her only opponent in 2023, defeating former UFC fighter Larissa Pacheco in a catchweight fight.
Due to Amanda Nunes’ retirement, Kayla Harrison will debut at bantamweight. This will require her to move down to bantamweight. During her Invicta career, Harrison fought once at featherweight, defeating Courtney King by second-round TKO.
In the bantamweight division, where Raquel Pennington just beat Mayra Bueno Silva, the Harrison-Holm fight could have a significant impact. Julianna Pea is Pennington’s obvious next step, but Kayla Harrison could be well positioned to take her next shot if she defeats Holm.
The UFC keeps adding to its 300-card list
As UFC 300 was already stacked, signing Kayla Harrison makes a splash. In addition to Harrison-Holm, Las Vegas fans will see:
In the women’s strawweight division, Zhang Weili faces Yan Xiaonan.
(Lightweight) Justin Gaethje vs Max Holloway
Oliveira vs. Tsarukyan (lightweight)
Procházka vs. Raki (light heavyweight)
Figueiredo vs. Garbrandt (bantamweight)
A featherweight fight between Calvin Kattar and Aljamain Sterling
(Middleweight) Bo Nickal vs Cody Brundage
Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller (lightweight)
In addition to the promotion’s all-time wins leader (Miller) and nine current or former UFC titleholders, that card includes one of the sport’s fastest-rising stars (Nickal). Gaethje will defend his symbolic “BMF” title against Chinese competitor Zhang.