In the past few years Olympic-level Judokas like Ronda Rousey and Rick Hawn have shifted their careers towards Mixed Martial Arts and their success since has prompted the public to ask ‘Who is next?’ It appears the MMA world may now have the answer in the form of gold medalist Kayla Harrison.
Just don’t expect to see her in a cage anytime soon.
Harrison, who brought home the United States first gold medal in judo over the summer has signed with Ali Abdel-Aziz of Dominance MMA. Dominance MMA manages some of the sport’s top talent, though Harrison’s goals don’t include a championship belt as of right now. Rather, the 22-year old has her sights set on another gold medal in Rio of 2016.
“I never say never but I don’t know if the MMA world is ready for me,” explained Harrison in an interview with MMAWeekly. “I’m a bit bigger than Ronda, and I’m not quite as flashy. I’m also not an entertainer. I do the sport because I love it, not for money or fame. So to make the transition into MMA would be a big one for me.”
For those thinking that one day Harrison could fight her fellow Olympian, the probability is highly unlikely. Harrison won her medal at essentially 170 pounds making for quite a cut down to make bantamweight. However, now that we have seen Harrison and 2012 bronze medalist Marti Malloy sign to MMA management companies, the flood of elite-level talent into the female side of MMA seems to have begun.