Midnight Mania! UFC signs Kayla Harrison for UFC 300 super fight opposite Holly Holm
Welcome to Midnight Mania!
Kayla Harrison’s career in the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) has come to an end.
Earlier on Tuesday night (Jan. 23, 2024), UFC CEO Dana White announced that the promotion had signed Harrison, the two-time Judo Olympic gold medalist and former PFL champion. She’s set to make her UFC debut on April 13 at UFC 300, facing former Bantamweight queen Holly Holm in a high-profile bout at 135 pounds.
Watch White’s announcement below:
There’s actually a lot to consider with this match up. First and foremost, the weight class is a really surprising change of pace. Holm has fought most of her career at Bantamweight, but she also has jumped up to 145-pounds on a few occasions. Harrison, conversely, has only made 145-pounds once in her 17-fight professional career! She’s fought almost entirely at 155-pounds, so she’s facing a 20 pound adjustment here.
Holm does feel like a perfect opponent for Harrison’s debut. She remains one of women’s Bantamweight’s best-known names, and there’s obvious history and parallels to draw given Holm kicked a different Judo Olympian in the face many years ago. Given the lackluster Bantamweight title fight a few days ago at UFC 297, this is a much-needed injection of an exciting new contender … if Harrison can make the weight!
A final factor to consider is how this affects the ongoing PFL vs. Bellator champion match ups. Harrison is not the most recent PFL Lightweight champion — that would be Larissa Pacheco, who defeated Harrison in November 2022 but also lost to Harrison twice previously — but she was a frontrunner to face Bellator Featherweight queen Cris Cyborg anyway. There’s been a lot of hype over the years for that potential match up, but it’s officially gone for the foreseeable future.
Why … why are they pirates?
Another fighter removed from the rankings pool for inactivity that fought (and won) far more recently than Brian Ortega …
❌ Fighter removed: Carla Esparza
— UFC Roster Watch (@UFCRosterWatch) January 23, 2024
Foot sweeps are always cool.
Dricus Du Plessis is enjoying his hard-earned title win in style.
This clip is so funny to me. There is only one “Stillknocks!”
MMA fighters and politics, a mix like chocolate and peanut butter.
BJ Penn has appeared to go so far right that he came out the other end as a communist. Free government fruit is his main platform (at least so far) for his 2024 city council run. pic.twitter.com/bkxOVy8GHJ
— Borrachinha Depot (@FullContactMTWF) January 23, 2024
Bryan Barberena should not be at Middleweight, so I’m predicting a “GM3” submission here.
Slips, rips, and KO clips
A TRIPLE upkick KO? That’s a new one.
The front kicks looked stabbing, and the composure off the back foot prior to the stoppage was really impressive too.
Lorenz Larkin taking apart prime Neil Magny with oblique-style kicks to the mid-section was awesome, and nobody else has really used that weapon since!
“Da Monsoon” Lorenz Larkin vs Neil Magny | UFC 202
Larkin absolutely butchers Magny from start to finish in a lopsided beatdown getting the finish slumping Magny with some brutal elbows from a failed takedown attempt. #UFC #MMA
Requested by @NotRobbieLawler pic.twitter.com/PccoaK6gIt
— Underrated MMA Performances (@MMAUnderrated) January 23, 2024
An impressive show of strength.
Midnight Music: Post-hardcore, 1994
Sleep well Maniacs! More martial arts madness is always on the way.