American Judoka Kayla Harrison won her second Olympic Gold Medal on Thursday. Is a move to mixed martial arts next?
Harrison won gold at the 2012 London Olympics and added the 2016 Rio Olympics to her resume with an ippon victory, ending her match with France’s Audrey Tcheuméo via armbar.
Sounds a little like another female Judoka who has already made the move to MMA. Ronda Rousey won bronze in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but rocketed to stardom as the first female champion in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. She quickly became the promotion’s top star, defending the belt several times before losing via head-kick knockout to Holly Holm late last year.
Harrison and Rousey were training partners in Judo, so it’s not all that far fetched to assume the Rio medalist might follow in her friend’s footsteps. In fact, it’s something she has strongly considered.
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“I never say ‘never,’” Harrison said on TeamUSA.org. “Judo is my first love. It’s my passion. But who doesn’t want to be famous? It takes a special kind of person, but I think that I could step in the cage and beat somebody up for a lot of money.”
Harrison said that her agent has talked with the UFC, but she has another option that might prove difficult for MMA to compete with. As she said, Harrison’s first love is Judo, and the International Judo Federation might have a role for her once she is done competing.
“The one question I ask myself is, ‘Do you really want to start from the bottom again? Are you ready to start all over? ….View full article