Stop us if you’ve heard this one before: A woman who medaled in judo at the Olympics won a mixed martial arts fight via armbar.
That happened on Thursday night, but it wasn’t Ronda Rousey this time.
Kayla Harrison, the gold medal winner at 78 kg in both the 2012 and 2016 Games, made her professional MMA debut at PFL 2. And she made like former training partner Rousey, as she defeated Brittney Elkin via armbar at the 3:16 mark of the opening round of a lightweight bout in Chicago.
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Harrison put on a textbook display in setting up the victory. She overwhelmed Elkin in the clinch, then continuously improved her position until she was able to make her move for the armbar, throwing in one last body shot for good measure before cinching it in. It didn’t take long from there for Elkin to tap.
Harrison, a student of USA Judo legend Jimmy Pedro, admitted to a case of nerves before the fight.
“I was wicked nervous,” Harrison said. “There’s no pressure like the pressure of the Olympic final the reason I was so nervous was this is all new. It was a lot of fun though, and I can’t wait for the next one.”
Elkin (3-5) has lost two straight and three of her past four.