Two-time gold medalist Kayla Harrison refused to follow Ronda Rousey’s footsteps in MMA after successive judo wins in Rio Olympics 2016. She revealed her grounds for her choice.
Expected to join the professional fighting arena, the 26-year-old Kayla Harrison told the public about her decision of avoiding MMA or UFC as much as possible. She explained that the two arenas were totally different from what she’s been used to.
She stated that there is a vast difference between the practice of sportsmanship as an Olympic judoka and as an MMA fighter. Harrison acknowledged the existing exploitations in the sport and she doesn’t want to end herself like that.
The Olympic judoka earned so much respect for her sport and she clearly wanted to tell everyone she doesn’t want to compromise that for the sake of beating someone on stage.
“After a [judo] match, you shake the person’s hand and you give them a hug, and you bow to them to show respect. In MMA, it’s not like that … you get fights based on how pretty you are and how much you talk, and not necessarily what you’re worth in the ring,” she told MMA Junkie.
The same source supported her claim about the exploiting environment of MMA. In fact, they described the 26-year-old judoka as a smart woman who doesn’t want to give up her passion for the sport for money.
Based on her statements, she obviously hinted to stop any of the executives from courting her to join the professional fights. Unlike Ronda Rousey, she’ll continue as a judoka and will retire as a judoka.
Everyone knew that Rousey joined MMA after her Beijing Olympics 2008 win. Regardless of the expectations of everybody, Harrison seemed adamant albeit she already had close contact with Rousey way back.
Yahoo Sports mentioned that Harrison trained with former UFC champion Ronda Rousey when she began her training under the Pedros (Jimmy Pedro, Sr. and Jimmy Pedro, Jr.). However, that didn’t influence her mind to try a new experience as a professional fighter at all.
Photo courtesy: Instagram.com/@judo_kayla