UFC 300: Kayla Harrison introduces herself to UFC fans with utter domination of Holly Holm

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA - APRIL 13: (R-L) Kayla Harrison kicks Holly Holm in a bantamweight fight during the UFC 300 event at T-Mobile Arena on April 13, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada.  (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Kayla Harrison defeated Holly Holm in a bantamweight fight during UFC 300. (Photo by Jeff Bottari/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Kayla Harrison is to be feared, and she didn’t need all three rounds of her UFC debut to prove that point.

The 33-year-old Ohio native submitted UFC legend Holly Holm with a rear naked choke submission in the second round of their bantamweight bout during UFC 300 at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas on Saturday. Harrison walked away from the fight without nary a scratch, claiming that she’ll be a UFC champion by the end of the year.

Harrison began training in judo at 6 years old, going on to become the first American to ever win an Olympic gold medal in the sport in 2012. She added another gold to her collection in 2016. The 42-year-old Holm, a former UFC bantamweight champion, is better known for her striking.

Holm defeated Olympic bronze-winning judoka Ronda Rousey in 2015, shocking the world by knocking out the then-bantamweight champion with a brutal kick in the second round. It’s regarded as one of the greatest upsets in UFC history.

Even though that was nine years ago, Holm entered Saturday’s fight with the same level of confidence. She found herself grappling on the canvas twice in the first round, reversing a takedown attempt by Harrison in the first 30 seconds. Holm found herself on the other end of a vicious ground and pound before the first round ended, the worst possible unfolding of events against an opponent like Harrison.

Holm’s eyes were swelling as soon as the second round began. She’d only landed one significant strike in the previous five minutes, compared to Harrison’s 46. When Holm tapped out at the 1:47 mark in the second round, it seemed like a merciful end to a clash that wasn’t going her way at any point.

Speaking with Joe Rogan immediately after the victory, Harrison demanded a championship fight.

“I want my title next, Joe,” she said. “That’s what I came over here for, one thing and one thing only. So I don’t care if it’s Raquel [Pennington], I don’t care if it’s Julianna [Peña], by the end of the year, I will be UFC champion.”

She didn’t name Amanda Nunes, but the GOAT still answered. She posted a video of herself listening to the call out and yelling once it ended.

Nunes wrote, “Chama,” Brazilian slang for “let’s go,” as her caption.

Of course, Nunes retired last summer after a bantamweight title defense against Irene Aldana at UFC 289. Seeing that she went out on top as the women’s bantamweight champion and featherweight champion, it’s not hard to imagine that she’d return for a worthy matchup.

Harrison could be the perfect opponent.

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