In an unexpected turn of events, former UFC bantamweight champion Holly Holm finds herself in a unique matchup against two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time PFL $1 million season winner Kayla Harrison on the historic UFC 300 card, set to take place on April 13 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Admitting that a showdown with Harrison "wasn’t really something on my radar," Holm expressed gratitude for the opportunity to face the decorated newcomer in the women's bantamweight division. Holm, with a record of 15-6 in MMA and 8-6 in the UFC, is set to be Harrison's debut opponent as the two clash on the highly anticipated pay-per-view event, broadcast on ESPN and ESPN+.
As Holm awaited her next booking, she confessed to some frustration as various logical options fell off the board. However, the matchmakers presented Harrison as a formidable challenge, and Holm eagerly embraced the chance to add another marquee name in women’s MMA to her already impressive resume.
The upcoming bout introduces several intriguing layers to the matchup. Fans are left questioning how Harrison's skillset will fare against one of the greatest to ever grace the octagon, while also pondering whether Holm, with her storied career, still has enough left to fend off a hungry, younger contender.
One significant aspect adding to the intrigue is Harrison's move to the women’s bantamweight division. Having spent her entire career in the women’s lightweight division, the drop to 135 pounds is uncharted territory for the Olympic gold medalist. Despite the uncertainty, Harrison is committed to competing in this new division.
Holm acknowledges the weight cut challenge for her opponent and is curious about its potential impact. Expressing concern about the unfamiliar territory for Harrison, Holm still assumes and expects Harrison to make weight during the UFC 300 weigh-ins at the contracted figure.
“I don’t really know what she walks around at, how much water she drops – I don’t know all those details,” Holm said. “But like for me, if somebody was to tell me I had to go 125, I couldn’t make 125. So you think about that. It is a concern. But I feel like she’s a professional. She’s not just been in MMA, but other professional sports and her judo and everything. I give that confidence in her that she’s going to make weight.”
She also added the following:
“Somebody can be depleted, but somebody can be faster if they don’t have extra weight, too. We’ll see what happens when we get there and get to the fight. I don’t really know her history. I don’t think she’s ever missed weight. I think she’s going to be a professional about it, but it’s one of those things where it’s not, ‘Oh, I’ll get close enough and hopefully still get the fight,’ and nothing like that. Be professional about it and make weight and we’ll be ready to rock and roll.”
As UFC 300 approaches, the spotlight is firmly on this unexpected clash, as both Holm and Harrison aim to make a statement on the historic night in Las Vegas.