Holly Holm and Kayla Harrison, two of the most accomplished athletes in the history of women's combat sports, will meet at UFC 300.
The UFC has signed Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo and two-time UFC champion, to an exclusive contract, UFC CEO Dana White announced on Tuesday. She will face former UFC and boxing champion V. Holm at UFC 300 on April 13 in Las Vegas. The fight will be held at 135 pounds.
The UFC signing of Harrison (16-1) is big news in itself. Harrison, 33, has been the face of the PFL since making her mixed martial arts (MMA) debut in 2018. She has fought most of her career under the PFL banner, primarily at 155 pounds. . Harrison's manager, Ali Abdelaziz, told ESPN that Harrison tested the cut weight in anticipation of a deal with the UFC and was happy with the result.
“We are extremely grateful for Kayla’s amazing career in the Premier League,” Abdelaziz told ESPN. “She has become the fighter she is today with their support. We are nothing but grateful to them and excited to start a new chapter in the UFC.”
Holm, 42, is looking to make one final run in the UFC. She's officially 4-1 in her past five fights, with the only loss coming to Caitlin Vieira by split decision in a fight that Holm thought she should have won on the judges' scorecards. She has two wins over newly crowned UFC bantamweight champion, Raquel Pennington, in 2015 and 2020.
The winner can enter title contention immediately. Pennington is expected to face former champion Juliana Peña in her first defense, but the UFC has not made an official announcement.
Harrison, who trains out of American Top Team in Florida, spoke to the UFC as a free agent in late 2021 under very different circumstances. She has made it clear in the past that she does not want to cut a significant amount of weight, but her options at 145 and 155 pounds have been limited in recent years. The UFC has never promoted a 155-pound division.
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