ByRyan Matsunaga, writer at
MMA fan, BJJ enthusiast, and Executive Publisher at Creators Media.
Ryan Matsunaga

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is now one step closer to an MMA debut.

The American judoka has signed with Dominance MMA Management, the same company that manages Fabricio Werdum, Frankie Edgar, Khabib Nurmagomedov, Rafael Dos Anjos, and many other MMA fighters.

Harrison has twice now won the gold medal in Olympic judo, once at the 2012 London games, and again in Rio earlier this year. She has also previously won her division at the 2010 World Judo Championships in Tokyo, the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games, and the 2011 and 2012 Pan American Judo Championships.

In August, she became the youngest American to be promoted to 6th Degree Black belt by the United States Judo Association, and she is now widely considered to be one of the pound-for-pound best judoka in the entire world.

In August, Harrison told media that she did not have very much interest in transitioning to MMA.

“For me, right now, it’s just going to be focus on being a two-time Olympic champion... never say never – but right now, the answer is no to MMA," she said, following her big win in Rio.

The situation seems to have changed more recently however. Not only has Harrison signed with an MMA management company, but she has also begun to cross-train in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.

If she does end up in professional MMA, it is unclear what weight class she would be aiming for. Harrison has traditionally competed at approximately 172 lb. (78 kg), which is significantly above than the UFC's heaviest female weight class, 135 lb.

Harrison has not yet personally commented on the recent development.


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