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Daniel Cormier: Kayla Harrison Brings Life To Featherweight Division

The decision by Kayla Harrison to test the waters at featherweight brings new light to the division and her career moving forward.

Kayla Harrison is as accomplished a fighter as you will find in combat sports.

Olympic gold medals. World championships. MMA championships. A perfect record.

Harrison is already a star and one of the biggest names in the sport. But there appears to be even more out there for her.

The reigning Professional Fighters League champion will step into a new weight class this week when she faces Courtney King at Invicta FC 43 on November 20. The bout will take place in the featherweight division, as Harrison drops down from lightweight.

“Smart by PFL,” said former Olympic wrestler and world champion Daniel Cormier during DC & Helwani. “FOr Kayla to go to the 145 weight class, people got excited when she got into fighting. It tells me she is very disciplined, and focused on the task at hand.

“Her taking on this task as an Olympian tells me she is doing everything in her power to make sure she can make this weight.”

The 30-year-old Harrison captured gold at both the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and four years later at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro while competing at 78kg in judo.

She is also a former World Judo Championships gold medalist, two-time Pan American Games champion and two-time Pan American Judo Championships winner.

In MMA, Harrison made her debut two years ago with the fastest growing and most innovative league in sports, PFL. She has quickly picked up seven wins over that time, including three by submission and two more via knockout. 

At PFL 10 this past December, Harrison topped Larissa Pacheco to claim the 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship. She will return to PFL in early 2021 when the new season starts on the ESPN family of networks.

“The weight class looks a little more alive when someone like Kayla Harrison enters it,” Cormier said.

Invicta FC 43 takes place Friday live from the Police Athletic League in Kansas City, Kansas. The entire card, including Harrison vs. King, airs on UFC Fight Pass. In the main event, Emily Ducote and Montserrat Ruiz battle for the vacant strawweight title.

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