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Kayla Harrison chokes out Holly Holm to win debut at UFC 300

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Kayla Harrison chokes out Holly Holm to win debut at UFC 300
Google News Recentlyheard

Google News Recentlyheard

LAS VEGAS — Kayla Harrison’s UFC debut couldn’t have gone any higher.

The previous two-time Olympic judo champion dominated former champion and fight sports activities legend Holly Holm, beating Holm with a rear-naked choke submission at 1 minute, 47 seconds of the second spherical Saturday within the prelims of UFC 300 at T-Cell Area.

“I need my title subsequent. That is what I came visiting right here for — one factor and one factor solely,” Harrison stated in her postfight interview. “By the tip of the 12 months, I will probably be UFC champion.”

Harrison, who was slicing to bantamweight for the primary time in her MMA profession, took Holm down within the first spherical and blasted her with laborious ground-and-pound, together with elbows. These elbows have been a significant factor within the battle. Harrison was not ready to make use of these in PFL, the place she beforehand fought attributable to that promotion’s guidelines. Harrison was a two-time PFL ladies’s light-weight champion.

The second spherical was extra of the identical. Harrison went for a head kick after which shot in for a takedown, which succeeded. She grabbed for a guillotine choke, which Holm defended. However then she landed a judo journey, acquired Holm’s again and sunk within the rear-naked choke for the victory.

Harrison outlanded Holm 51-2, together with 46-1 within the first spherical.

In her postfight interview within the Octagon, Harrison named bantamweight champion Raquel Pennington and former champ Julianna Peña as potential opponents she’d prefer to face subsequent. It caught the eye of retired champ Amanda Nunes, who posted a video of herself on social media listening to Harrison’s interview and questioning why she did not point out Nunes by identify.

“I did not name Amanda’s identify as a result of Amanda’s not the UFC champion,” Harrison stated at her postfight information convention. “I believed she was fortunately retired. I’d like to win the UFC title, and if Amanda desires to come back again, I’d welcome her with open arms.”

Harrison (17-1) was coming off a unanimous resolution over UFC veteran Aspen Ladd below the PFL banner in November. The Ohio native, who lives and trains in Florida, has solely misplaced to Larissa Pacheco in 2022. Harrison has additionally crushed Pacheco twice. Harrison, 33, had 13 finishes in 18 professional fights.

In PFL, Harrison fought principally at 155 kilos and competed within the Olympics at round 172 kilos. One of many greatest exams for her was making 135 kilos, which she wanted to do to be able to come to the UFC. Harrison efficiently made the burden Friday.

Holm (15-7, 1 NC) had only one loss in her previous 5 fights coming in. The Albuquerque, New Mexico, native famously knocked out Ronda Rousey to win the UFC ladies’s bantamweight title in 2015. Rousey and Harrison have been former judo teammates. Holm, 42, had a profession in boxing earlier than changing to MMA and is within the Worldwide Boxing Corridor of Fame.

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