Kayla Harrison Looks At Ronda Rousey’s Career And Worries Her Own ‘Window Of Opportunity’ To Be The Best Is Closing
Kayla Harrison was enjoying free agency when she started submitting offers for her next contract, but the process has now become frustrating as she seeks to return to action as soon as possible.
Expecting a deal to be done at any moment, the two-time PFL champion admits the time off has left her wondering how long she has left in the sport to achieve the goals she has set herself. is fixed when transitioning from judo to mixed martial arts.
“Unfortunately for me, timing is everything and I’m afraid my window of opportunity to fight these girls is slowly closing,” Harrison said on The MMA Hour. “It’s hard to be patient.”
Harrison is intact in her fighting career with a perfect 12-0 record, including 10 finishes by knockout or submission.
Despite her dominance, the 31-year-old lightweight fighter can’t help but wonder if she may have waited too long to enter MMA and what it will take to be considered the greatest of all time. She need look no further than the past perceptions of her former Olympic teammate Ronda Rousey to understand the goals she has yet to achieve.
“I’ll be 100% real with you right now – I’m watching Ronda [Rousey] and I look at what she’s accomplished and I look at who she’s become and the star power she had and the platform she had and it’s hard,” Harrison explained. “I want to change the world. I want to be the best.
“The ego in me wants everyone to know my name and have no doubts and say ‘shit Kayla Harrison, the best there is’. So it’s hard. It’s hard not to be there yet. It keeps me awake at night. It torments me.”
During her three-year reign as UFC bantamweight champion, Rousey was not only one of combat sports’ biggest stars, but she was also highly revered by her peers.
UFC president Dana White often touted Rousey as a legitimate threat to any opponent she might face — male or female — and he even claimed she would beat undefeated boxing champ Floyd Mayweather in a fight. they passed each other.
“There was a time when people thought she would beat the grown men,” Harrison said of Rousey. “That’s how dominant she was. That’s how everyone is like she’s the greatest of all time. They were talking about his guys who were fighting. I know obviously a lot of this was biased and a lot of it was crazy talk, but I want to be as good as people having these conversations.
“I want to be so good that people are like, ‘Fuck, that girl could beat a grown man.’ That’s what I want. I want to be so high above the competition and so far above the pack that people have to start making crazy talk to make it interesting with me.
Right now, Harrison understands that she hasn’t achieved the same level of adoration or achievement in her career, which ignites a fire under her to do as much as she can while she still can.
“I’m not buying any of my own hype,” Harrison said. “I don’t read my own press. I’m not delusional to think I’m so far above the pack.
“I know there are great fighters out there. I know there are fighters more skilled than me or maybe more athletic than me. Obviously more time in sports than me. I’m under no illusions thinking I’m untouchable but I’d like to test the theory.
As of now, all signs point to Harrison’s return to the PFL where she was a dominant force of nature while tearing through every opponent the promotion put in front of her.
If she officially signs a new contract with the PFL, the two-time Olympic champion knows there will be questions about her level of commitment to being considered the best in the world, as competing there is unlikely to allow her to compete. face notable champions from other organizations such as Cris Cyborg in Bellator or even former teammate Amanda Nunes in the UFC.
“I really want to be the best,” Harrison said. “I really have an inner desire to test myself and push myself to the highest limits that I can reach. I just want to make sure that I keep doing it and keep pushing myself to do it. I know I’m not there yet.
“I don’t consider myself the best. I’m not saying I’m the greatest. I don’t think I’m the best but I want to be. I want to fight the biggest. So obviously October to now is a long layoff and it feels like a long layoff and it feels like it’s been a lifetime. I’m grateful it’s almost over and I’m ready to get back in the cage and keep improving and doing what I love.