Take a stroll around New York for the holidays or grab a seat at Madison Square Garden and the promotional videos for the PFL Championship nearly rival the hype for the Rockettes: “Six weight classes, six world championship fights, plus the biggest name in women’s mixed martial arts.”
UFC two-division champ Amanda Nunes would surely resent that declaration.
But Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison can take another step toward one day staking claim to that title in her headline fight at PFL 11 on Monday night. Harrison in 2010 became the first American woman to win the judo world championship. No U.S. judoka — man or woman — had ever won an Olympic gold medal before Harrison beat Britain’s Gemma Gibbons to win the women’s 78-kilogram and under division at the 2012 Olympics in London. She won gold again four years later at the Rio de Janeiro Games. She made her MMA debut this year and won both fights (by TKO and submission) for the Professional Fighters League.
Harrison takes on Moriel Charneski in a 155-pound bout Monday at the Hulu Theatre in Madison Square Garden.
“I was born to be a fighter,” Harrison said.