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#4 Women's Bantamweight Division

#14 PFP


Kayla Harrison

Women's Bantamweight Division

17-1-0 (W-L-D)


Wins by Knockout


Wins by Submission


First Round Finishes

Kayla Harrison

athlete record


Learn more about Kayla Harrison's UFC history, fighter facts, and Q&A below.

Place of Birth
Middletown, United States
Fighting style
Octagon Debut
Apr. 13, 2024
Leg reach
  • Pro since 2018

  • Six wins by KO, seven by submission (4 armbar, arm triangle, keylock, RNC)

  • Nine first-round finishes

  • Owns wins over UFC vets Aspen Ladd, Kaitlin Young, Cindy Dandois, Larissa Pacheco

  • Youngest person in U.S. history to be awarded the rank of rokudan

    (sixth degree black belt)

UFC 300 (4/13/24) Harrison submitted Holly Holm via rear naked choke at 1:47 of the second round 

When and why did you start training for fighting? After my second Olympics in 2016, I hit a low. I developed post-Olympic depression and really didn’t know what was next in my life. I’d won two gold medals and was a decorated judoka but felt lost. I’d seen some of my teammates try MMA and thought I’d give it a shot, so I signed up for a striking class. About a month after I started striking, I went to my first sparring session. From the very first time I took a punch in the face, I thought, wow, this is different and exciting. I knew I could be a force if I kept a beginner's mindset and focused on MMA training like I did in judo. Shortly after that, I moved to South Florida to train with the best, and the rest is history.

What ranks and titles have you held? 2012 and 2016 Olympic Gold medalist in judo for Team USA. Two-time PFL championship tournament winner in 2019 and 2021. 2010 World Champion in Judo. Ranked number one in the world of judo for 4+ years.

What does it mean for you to fight in the UFC? I always say the UFC is the Olympics of MMA. It’s the biggest stage with the most credibility in the world. I’m excited to be amongst and face other top talent to show the world who Kayla Harrison is and what she’s all about. When I began MMA training years ago, my goal was always to be UFC champion. I’ve won two Olympic gold medals, and I’m a two-time PFL World Champion. Now, I’m coming for gold in the UFC. I’m ready for the new challenge and look forward to seeing how this path, that’s sure to be filled with unexpected twists and turns, unfolds. I deeply appreciate all the love and support I’ve received so far from UFC leaders and fighters. It feels awesome to launch this new chapter of my life and career with encouragement from all sides.

Do you have any heroes? I truly admire anyone who has experienced unthinkable setbacks anddisappointments but has chosen to be great and rise above anyway. People who embody purpose and resiliency.

What was your job before you started fighting? I’ve trained in judo since age six. At 16, I moved to Boston to join Pedro’s Judo Center and worked odd jobs. I was everything from a landscaper, dog walker, assistant. I worked at a hardware store for years before finally becoming an instructor at Pedro’s Judo Center. Post Olympics, I wrote a book called Fighting Back and began MMA training shortly after.

Ranks in any martial arts styles: 6th degree black belt judo