Kayla Harrison is aware that her cut to bantamweight is going to take some work.
Harrison (16-1 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes her 135-pound debut against former champion Holly Holm (15-6 MMA, 8-6 UFC) on April 13 at UFC 300 in Las Vegas.
Two-time PFL winner Harrison has predominantly competed at lightweight throughout her career, but dismissed the notion that she competed with a big size advantage. But cutting down to bantamweight will give her that.
“There’s a misperception out there that I walk around at like 180 pounds or something,” Harrison told Kevin Iole. “I have walked around most of my MMA career at 165, 160, because I don’t like cutting weight. I don’t believe in cutting weight. I don’t think it sends the right message to kids. That being said, I don’t agree with this, but sometimes you have to show up and do things you don’t agree with in order to make your dreams come true. The whole time I was (in the PFL), I walked around at 165, maybe 160, and so not only was I usually the smaller fighter with less experience, I was getting in the cage with girls who were getting in there at 180, 175 pounds.
“Now that’s not going to be the case. Now I’m going to be the bigger, stronger, faster and, in a lot of cases I believe, the more experienced fighter. It’s a case, I think, that I started off backwards, beginning (at the higher weight) but I was able to be successful because of my pedigree and the skill set that I brought to MMA. But now I have experience and now I am seasoned. The weight (cut) part’s going to suck, but it sucks for everyone and I’m not special.”
Harrison is confident she will make the weight. She has already tested the process out successfully, even though it wasn’t easy.
“I wouldn’t have made the move if I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it,” Harrison said. “We did a test cut. Everything was measured, from my heart rate to my blood pressure to my blood sugar. We did a test recovery. We did a test simulated fight. Everything has been dialed in and everything has been tested. I’m really confident in my team and I’m really confident in myself. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the things in life that are worth having are usually not easy (to obtain).”
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