Stance: Southpaw
Division: Women's Featherweight
Height: 5' 8"
Reach: 66"
Leg reach: 41.00
Weight: 135 lbs.
Age: 31


Hailing from Middleton, Ohio, Kayla Harrison’s journey into the intense world of mixed martial arts and judo began at a tender age of six when her mother introduced the young Harrison to the sport. Her mother, a black belt, could see her daughter’s potential as she watched her dedication to the sport grow. After graduating from Middletown High School, Harrison’s career developed under the guidance of Coach Daniel Doyle, a figure that shaped her early years as a competitive judoka. By the age of 15, Harrison had already achieved two national championships.

However, this period of accomplishment was marred by a dark secret. During Harrison’s training, Doyle was sexually abusing her. Eventually, Harrison revealed this to another judoka, who passed on the information on to Harrison’s mother. The authorities were alerted, Doyle was convicted of his crimes and sentenced to a decade-long prison term. The abuse had a significant impact on Harrison and just a month after the conviction, she left her home in Ohio and relocated to Boston where she joined Jimmy Pedro and his father for further training.

She underwent a weight change in 2008, moving from the ‍–‍63 kg division to the ‍–‍78 kg division. Despite her impressive win in the 2008 Junior World Championship, she was unable to debut in the 2008 Summer Olympics, given that the United States hadn’t secured a spot in her weight division. In 2009, she achieved second place in the Junior World Championships — a feat that made her the first American to reach two Junior World Championships finals.

Harrison’s determination was undeniably evident when she secured the gold medal at the 2010 World Judo Championships, making her the first American to do so since 1999. Her success continued into 2011 where she bagged gold at the Pan American games. The following year proved difficult when she sustained a knee injury that hindered her preparation for the London 2012 Summer Olympics. Despite the setback, she went on to defeat Britain’s Gemma Gibbons and became the first American to win a gold Olympic medal in judo.

Harrison’s relentless efforts on the mat earned her a place in the United States Judo Federation Hall Of Fame in 2015. She further secured her legacy in 2016 when she won her second gold medal at the Rio Olympics in the same weight class. Her extraordinary accomplishments warranted her promotion to rokudan (6th Degree Black Belt) — making her the youngest person in America to hold this rank.

Transitioning into mixed martial arts in 2016, Harrison joined the world renowned World Series of Fighting. Her intense training regime and resilience saw her dominate the MMA stage. Her debut match against Brittney Elkin resulted in a first-round win with submission due to an armbar attack. She clinched her second victory within three rounds against Jozette Cotton.

After securing a long-term contract extension with the PFL in 2019, Harrison faced Larissa Pacheco to combat for the Women’s Lightweight championship title. She displayed her superior grappling technique and secured a unanimous win, making her the 2019 Women’s Lightweight Champion.

The sudden outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 led to the cancellation of the PFL season. However, this provided Harrison with an opportunity to join the Invicta FC where she made her debut as a Featherweight, defeating Courtney King. She was set to face Jozette Cotton once again, however the match was cancelled due to Cotton’s health concerns.

Despite the interruptions and setbacks, Harrison continued to press on, notably winning fights against the likes of Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian effortlessly. During her fight with Fabian, she showcased an exceptional TKO through ground and pound in the first round. Her knockout victory streak was further bolstered after she defeated Taylor Guardado through an armbar in the second round.

In 2022, the coveted martial artist signed a contract with Bellator, only to find PFL exercising their right to match her contract leading to her re-signing with them. After defeating Marina Mokhnatkina and Kaitlin Young, Harrison faced Martina Jindrova in the Women’s Lightweight tournament. Displaying her superior skill set, she took down Jindrova in just the first round with an arm-triangle choke.

However, in November 2022, at PFL 10, Harrison faced an unexpected defeat from Larissa Pacheco. Following a year-long hiatus, Harrison made a victorious comeback in November 2023, swiftly defeating Aspen Ladd.

In January 2024, it was announced that Harrison would make her debut in the UFC and her bantamweight debut against the former champion Holly Holm.
Outside of the ring, Harrison continues to fight battles. In 2020, she adopted her niece and nephew after the sudden death of her stepfather who had custody of the children.

Kayla Harrison’s journey is one bursting with resilience, determination, and relentless pursuit of excellence. Her story serves as an inspiration to all, demonstrating that adversity can be converted into strength. Despite facing unimaginable adversity, Harrison has continued to rise – both in and out of the ring – and remains a force to be reckoned with in the world of martial arts.

Fight History

Holly Holm
Kayla Harrison: Winner
by Submission in Round 2 @ 1:47
Sat. Apr 13, 2024
UFC 300: Pereira vs. Hill


Is Kayla Harrison Part Of UFC?
Yes, Kayla Harrison is part of the UFC.

Who Would Win In A Fight, Kayla Harrison Or Holly Holm?
As a UFC journalist, I cannot predict the outcome of a fight between Kayla Harrison and Holly Holm as it would be dependent on various factors including their strategies, current form, and fight conditions.

Who Is Kayla Harrison's Husband?
As of my latest knowledge, it is unknown who Kayla Harrison's husband is.

"Will Kayla Harrison Be Competing In UFC 300?"
Yes, Kayla Harrison will be making her debut at UFC 300.

When Is Kayla Harrison's Next Fight?
Kayla Harrison's next fight is against Julia Budd at the 2023 PFL Championship.

What Is Kayla Harrison's Weight?
Kayla Harrison's weight is approximately 172 pounds, as she competed in the 78-kilogram division in London 2012 and Rio 2016.

Who Is Kayla Harrison In MMA?
Kayla Harrison is an American professional mixed martial artist and Olympic and world champion judoka, who competes in the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) and was a competitor in the 78 kg weight category in judo.

Who Would Win In A Fight Between Kayla Harrison And Aspen Ladd?
Kayla Harrison would win in a fight against Aspen Ladd, as evidenced by her sweeping all three judges' scorecards for a dominant decision win on Nov 24, 2023.