ABU DHABI — Coronavirus has made the previous 12 months a tough path for everybody within the struggle sport, but it surely was particularly troublesome for a competitor like Kayla Harrison.
The 2-time Olympic judo gold medalist was simply beginning to come into her personal in blended martial arts in 2020. Harrison (8-0) was the PFL’s 2019 ladies’s light-weight champion, and with seven fights beneath her belt at that time, she was simply reaching the purpose that she not felt like a beginner within the cage.
When the pandemic hit, the PFL needed to cancel its season, as, in contrast to different struggle promotions, the PFL’s common season and playoffs format can’t be condensed in a sport as bodily demanding as MMA.
Harrison ultimately was in a position to get a struggle in beneath the Invicta FC banner. In the meantime, her coach, American Prime Crew’s Mike Brown, says she used her 12 months displaying as much as the health club as if she had a struggle booked anyway,
“That is somebody who, whether or not she’s obtained a struggle or not, she’s within the health club,” Brown informed MMA Junkie throughout UFC 257 struggle week. “She’s there just about twice a day, day-after-day, whether or not there’s a struggle for her or not. She’s one other very, very, very devoted athlete who’s made enormous strides, enormous features. I imply, you’d anticipate this from anyone who is clearly, I might say, gifted genetically and I might say all in, and absolutely dedicated in each method. She lives her life to be the most effective fighter on the planet.”
With the PFL set to renew operations with the 2021 season, which will get underway in April, Brown believes Harrison, who went all the way down to featherweight for her Invicta win over Cortney King, is prepared for higher-level competitors.
“She’s made unbelievable features from Day 1, however now she’s 8-0,” Brown stated, “Now she’s had eight fights with all of the expertise and now very snug within the cage, and he or she’s actually on the level, I believe, to begin preventing anybody they’ll throw at her. Whoever on this planet they obtained, throw it at her. I believe she’s at that time she will be able to take massive, massive challenges, and he or she’s at that time she will be able to take anyone, I believe.
Harrison’s PFL contract expires after the upcoming season, and at occasions it has appeared she’s operating laps across the competitors. However given latest high-profile signings like former UFC and WEC light-weight champion Anthony Pettis, Brown is assured PFL will discover Harrison actual challenges this 12 months.
“The massive names, she’s prepared for,” Brown stated. “PFL has been nice. PFL is rising, it will be nice to see them usher in some massive names. They might usher in a (Cris) Cyborg or anyone of this nature to problem her. I believe she’s in a fantastic spot. I believe they’re doing good issues, and it’s rising. You bought guys like Pettis, world champions in different organizations now coming to the group. I believe it’s going to be a special PFL this 12 months.”