Holly Holm has the ‘Blueprint’ to Beat Kayla Harrison - Jackson Wink MMA News

Holly Holm has the ‘Blueprint’ to Beat Kayla Harrison

Former UFC fighter turned analyst Megan Anderson talked about one of the biggest fights of the year.

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Before the epic UFC 300 card takes place in a few weeks, we get a sneak preview of one of the biggest fights of the year, as Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison makes her UFC debut against former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm. The UFC is using this monumental card as a platform to see if the young lioness can take down an active legend.

In an exclusive interview with GIVEMESPORT.COM, former UFC title challenger turned ESPN analyst Megan Anderson talked about a wide array of topics, including what are the biggest factors of Harrison’s potential success in the UFC. Much of the attention surrounding Harrison has centred around her steep cut down to 135-pounds after fighting at 155-pounds for years.

Kayla Harrison v Holly Holm


Kayla is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo

Harrison’s strong suit is undeniable. Her elite judo background has been proven on the most elite testing grounds, and she has proven to be the best in the world not once, but twice, at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics. When she gets opponents in her wheelhouse, way more often than not, they go for an unpleasant ride.

Countering Harrison will be former UFC champion and three-time title challenger Holly Holm. Of course, Holm burst onto the world stage with her unbelievable underdog victory against Ronda Rousey at UFC 193. The irony of her fight against Harrison, is that she will be trying to beat another elite judoka on a big stage. Megan Anderson intricately looked at this highly-intriguing match-up from both sides of the coin.

“I think Kayla has the potential to go pretty far. I think the one thing with Kayla has always been her striking, which is understandable. Ronda had some issues coming over from judo to MMA with her striking. I would say Kayla has done a better job at that, but when you look at a lot of her fights, she does have some issues closing the range, and the blueprint has been laid to beat a judoka, and Holly Holm was the perfect example of how to beat that, obviously. And Holly is a master at range.


“The thing is, though, Kayla’s going to have issues because Holly doesn’t bait on anything. She’s like, ‘I want you to come to me because you have to close the range on me’ ’cause she’s happy fighting at that distance. So it’s gonna be on Kayla to close that range.


“Holly, to this day, is the strongest person I have ever fought. I remember locking up with her in the cage and I was like, ‘this lady is strong. Why is she not moving?’ And you go and watch a lot of her training videos and oh, she’s a beast.”

Kayla Harrison v The Scale

Kayla Harrison PFL London

Kayla Harrison has fought most of her career at lightweight

The UFC has never had a women’s lightweight division (155-pounds), and with the retiring of all-time great fighter Amanda Nunes, the UFC has also shut down the women’s featherweight division (145-pounds). So, Harrison wanting to test herself in the UFC means she must cut a tremendous amount of weight to make the bantamweight division’s limit of 135.9-pounds.

Harrison is a very large and muscular individual that may walk around as high as 180-pounds, but she will have to make drastic lifestyle changes in order to reach her goal of becoming a UFC world champion. Megan Anderson, who was also big for her weight class, talked about what dangers Harrison could face by depleting herself down to such a low weight.

“And I think for Kayla, the big question is, do I think she can make the weight? She probably can, but can and should are two different things. My thing about Kayla is not just making the weight once, it’s making the weight consistently and being able to perform, because she has been very open about not liking cutting weight, because it takes away from her strength. She’s not able to use her size, she’s not able to use that, you know, strength, like she likes to. It doesn’t work like that. Is she able to still have that strength? That’s the question.


“But she also has to remember when you cut down to a weight that you’ve never cut before, that you are having to deplete so much. You also open yourself up to not being able to completely rehydrate properly by fight time, which then leads to more potential brain injuries, like getting rocked by punches.”