Harrison (16-1) has mostly competed in the lightweight division throughout the course of her mixed martial arts career, leading to questions regarding her ability to safely make the cut to bantamweight and remain effective inside the cage.
However, Harrison, a former Olympic gold medalist in judo and a two-time Professional Fighters League tournament winner, argues that she never cut a lot of weight while competing in the PFL to begin with but is willing to do so considering the platform the Ultimate Fighting Championship provides.
“There’s a misperception out there that I walk around at like 180 pounds or something,” Harrison told Kevin Iole. “I have walked around most of my MMA career at 165, 160, because I don’t like cutting weight. I don’t believe in cutting weight. I don’t think it sends the right message to kids. That being said, I don’t agree with this, but sometimes you have to show up and do things you don’t agree with in order to make your dreams come true. The whole time I was [in the PFL], I walked around at 165, maybe 160, and so not only was I usually the smaller fighter with less experience, I was getting in the cage with girls who were getting in there at 180, 175 pounds.
“Now that’s not going to be the case. Now, I’m going to be the bigger, stronger, faster, and, in a lot of cases, I believe, the more experienced fighter. It’s a case, I think, that I started off backwards, beginning [at the higher weight] but I was able to be successful because of my pedigree and the skill set that I brought to MMA. But now I have experience and now I am seasoned. The weight [cut] part’s going to suck, but it sucks for everyone and I’m not special.”
Harrison then went on to reveal that she’s already conducted a trial weight cut to 135 and even simulated a fight to ensure things go smoothly at UFC 300.
“I wouldn’t have made the move if I didn’t think I was going to be able to do it,” Harrison said. “We did a test cut. Everything was measured, from my heart rate to my blood pressure to my blood sugar. We did a test recovery. We did a test simulated fight. Everything has been dialed in and everything has been tested. I’m really confident in my team and I’m really confident in myself. I’m not saying it’s going to be easy, but the things in life that are worth having are usually not easy [to obtain].”
UFC 300 is set to go down on April. 13 at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas. The marquee event is set to feature a strawweight title fight between Weili Zhang and Xiaonan Yan, a lightweight clash for the BMF title pitting Justin Gaethje against former featherweight champion Max Holloway and other intriguing matchups.