After her dominant debut at UFC 300, what’s next for Kayla Harrison?

MMA: UFC 300 - Holm vs Harrison
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

This past Saturday night on the prelims at UFC 300, we saw the highly anticipated octagon debut of two time Olympic Gold Medalist and former PFL champion Kayla Harrison (17-1). Harrison was able to debut on the promotion’s biggest stage and she did it against former world champion, Holly Holm (15-7, 1 NC).

Entering the bout, you had to figure that the game plan for Holly Holm would be similar to that of her game plan against Ronda Rousey all those years ago. Stick and move while avoiding the grappling exchanges. However, Holly Holm didn’t do that on Saturday night, instead choosing to engage in the clinch with Harrison.

That proved to be a horrific mistake. Harrison was able to use her throws to get top position in the first round and Harrison had a field day with ground and pound. Elbows aren’t legal in the PFL but they are legal in the UFC and she sure loved using them as she blistered Holm’s face with elbows throughout a dominant round one.

In the second round, once again, Harrison was able to use a throw to take Holm down. She was able to get the former champions back and once things were there she immediately locked in a choke. Holm tapped almost immediately and with that, Kayla Harrison made a massive statement to the rest of the UFC’s bantamweights.

What’s next after UFC 300?

Now that she’s proven she can make the weight, make no mistake about it, Kayla Harrison is the best bantamweight in the promotion and I don’t think it’s close. Raquel Pennington would be a massive underdog against Harrison to the point where it would look like a giant mismatch on paper.

Julianna Pena is tough as Hell but I don’t see how in the world Pena would be able to stop Harrison from taking her down whenever she wants and I don’t see Pena doing anything on the bottom against someone like Kayla Harrison. Her next fight needs to be for the bantamweight title.

The assumption is that Pennington will fight Julianna Pena next assuming Pena’s healthy. However, if the UFC can’t get Pena in there sooner than later, Harrison will likely get that fight. I fully believe by the end of the year, Kayla Harrison is going to be champion and there’s going to be a superfight that awaits her.

The greatest of all time, Amanda Nunes posted some interesting things after Harrison’s win. You can see one of her posts below. If Harrison becomes champion, I fully believe we will see Amanda Nunes return setting up the biggest fight of all time in women’s MMA.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: