UFC president Dana White just announced that the promotion has signed PFL star Kayla Harrison, who is now set to take on former women’s bantamweight champ Holly Holm at UFC 300.
Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka and two-time PFL champion, will be moving down to 135 lbs for the first time in her career as she makes her UFC debut. Harrison has spent the majority of her career competing at lightweight, with just one fight at featherweight as well as a 150 lbs catchweight bout in her most recent outing.
Her opponent Holm is a boxing hall of famer and former UFC title holder who famously knocked out superstar Ronda Rousey in a chocking upset to capture the belt in spectacular fashion back in 2015.
— danawhite (@danawhite) January 24, 2024
Kayla Harrison picks UFC 300 over Cyborg fight in Saudi
Kayla Harrison is widely-considered to be one of the best female fighters in the world pound-for-pound. The 33-year-old currently holds a 16-1 pro record and was basically the face of PFL MMA for a long time as one of the promotion’s biggest stars and brand ambassadors. For the longest time, Harrison was dominating all of her opponents which led to fans speculating how she would fare against now-retired UFC champ Amanda Nunes as well as Bellator MMA’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg.
At one point in late 2021, it looked like Harrison was about to join the UFC as she was exploring free-agency. However, she ended up re-upping with PFL in 2022 and would once again make it to the million-dollar world championship finale, though this time dropping a pretty close decision to Larissa Pacheco who she had beat two times prior.
Harrison returned one year later back in November when she defeated former top-ranked UFC fighter Aspen Ladd by unanimous decision. Now, she has opted to finally sign with the UFC rather than seeking revenge against Pacheco or pursuing the Cyborg fight that was recently offered to her for the upcoming PFL vs Bellator event in Saudi Arabia.
Breaking: Kayla Harrison has signed with the UFC, Dana White announced. pic.twitter.com/5OpAk0mPor
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 24, 2024
Holly Holm has headlined eight UFC events
As for Holly Holm, the 42-year-old has basically been a marquee name for the UFC ever since she joined the world-leading MMA promotion. Holm has competed in eight UFC main events, including three pay-per view headliners. “The Preacher’s Daughter” has racked up eight victories inside the octagon as well as six losses and one No Contest, holding an overall MMA record of 15-6, 1 NC.
The No Contest stems from her fight against Mayra Bueno Silva, who just challenged for the vacant title at last weekend’s UFC 297. Holm was submitted in their bout, but the result would later get overturned as Bueno Silva failed a drug test as she had ADHD medication Ritalin in her system while in competition.
Before the Bueno Silva, Holm had won three of her last four fights against some of the best fighters in the division, with the only loss during that span coming against Ketlen Vieira by split decision.
Breaking: Kayla Harrison will make her UFC debut against Holly Holm at UFC 300, Dana White announced. pic.twitter.com/qs5jdGPNM6
— ESPN MMA (@espnmma) January 24, 2024
UFC 300: Here’s the latest fight card
UFC 300 goes down in the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on April 13. The milestone event hasn’t got a main event announced yet, although a UFC women’s strawweight title fight as well as a BMF title bout has been confirmed for the lineup alongside several other high-profile matchups.
Check out the current UFC 300 fight card down below!
- Women’s strawweight title fight: (C) Zhang Weili vs. #1 Yan Xiaonan
- BMF title fight at lightweight: (BMF) Justin Gaethje #2 vs. Max Holloway (#1 FW)
- Lightweight: #1 Charles Oliveira vs. #4 Arman Tsarukyan
- Light heavyweight: #2 Jiri Prochazka vs. #5 Aleksandar Rakic
- Featherweight: (#1 BW) Aljamain Sterling vs. #7 Calvin Kattar
- Middleweight: Bo Nickal vs. Cody Brundage
- Bantamweight: #8 Deiveson Figueiredo vs. Cody Garbrandt
- Lightweight: #14 Bobby Green vs. Jim Miller
- Women’s bantamweight: #5 Holly Holm vs. Kayla Harrison