Why Kayla Harrison Is Awesome.
Kayla Harrison is sick of the b.s. thrown at most female fighters and doesn’t take crap, and I love it.
Harrison, who fights in the semi-finals of PFLs Playoffs, tomorrow night, on ESPN2, August 19th, at 6 PM PST, is truly becoming the most interesting figure in MMA.
Kayla Harrison versus Genah Fabian, women’s lightweight semi-finals is happening on Friday, on ESPN2, and I have to say Kayla Harrison is awesome. On a conference call, this week she ripped a reporter, who awkwardly talked about her opponent, Genah Fabian’s good looks while mispronouncing her name.
The exchange explains to me, why Harrison is such a strong star in the sport of MMA, as it appears she more than likely to be in the promotional juggernaut of the UFC in the next year or so, and the fact her opponent, smiled and appreciated the blatant sexism of the question asked towards her, speaks volumes. Harrison isn’t just one of the best fighters we have seen in the last two to three years in MMA, she is one of the strongest voices of women’s empowerment we have seen in all sports, and has a resume to prove.
For those unfamiliar with Harrison, she is a two-time Olympic gold medalist (2012, 2016) in Judo and former training partner of Ronda Rousey, as well as an undefeated MMA fighter, currently fighting in the PFL, this Thursday – tomorrow.
For me, being raised by a single mother, seeing a bad-ass female fighter, who is unapologetic in a male-dominated world is a breath of fresh air, not unlike seeing Vergil Ortiz Jr. call out top fighters, as Harrison is not going to be anything less than what she is, and will not dumb down her image to fit societies expectations of how a woman ought to be. In short, Harrison demands respect the same way a male athlete does, equity, and doesn’t want the dialogue to be about prominently male reporters gawking at her athletic body, she wants to be treated with the same respect Georges St. Pierre, Anderson Silva, and the other greats of MMA got, all of whom, never dealt with questions bout their bodies, but just achievements.
The ugly side of women’s combat sports is the deal with the devil, that sex sells, and Harrison is a true pioneer in the sense that she has the talent, and the charisma to not just change the narrative, but also not be treated or seen as anything less than the athlete she is. In a male-dominated world, Harrison is a welcomed change of talent, who is not afraid to be an advocate for change, and unapologetic in her beliefs.
Watch her fight tomorrow, on ESPN2, on Thursday, August 19th at 6 PM PST.