Kayla Harrison, the former Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo and the woman who beat Ronda Rousey in the Olympics appeared on The MMA Hour at MMAFighting.com and spoke about what fans can expect from the Octagon return of the former Women’s Bantamweight Champion, who fights current title-holder Amanda Nunes in the main event of December’s UFC 207 pay-pay-view.
“People act like this is the first loss in her life, but it’s not,” Harrison told show-host Ariel Helwani during the interview. “She’s lost on the highest stages. She’s lost at the world championships, she’s lost at the Olympics. She’s lost on the biggest stages and she’s found a way to come back and be better than ever. So I’m not surprised at all and I expect big things from her. A true champion isn’t defined by when they win, but when they lose and what they do about it.”
Harrison would go on to credit the success and popularity of Women’s MMA to Rousey while pointing out that “they are very different people.”
“Ronda was made for MMA,” Harrison said. “If she wasn’t the person that she is, if she didn’t step up and say the things that she said and do the things that she did and have the success that she had, then women’s MMA would not be where it is today. I am in no way shape or form putting her down for that. It’s just not who I am. We’re very different people. I’m not trying to be the next Ronda Rousey. I’m trying to be Kayla Harrison.”
UFC 207: Nunes vs. Rousey is scheduled to take place on Saturday, December 30th at the T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada. Join us here at MMANews.com on 12/30 for live round-by-round results coverage of the pay-per-view.
H/T to Marc Ramondi for transcribing the above Kayla Harrison quotes from “The MMA Hour.” The above video of the show comes from the official MMAFighting YouTube channel. The Kayla Harrison interview begins at the 47:45 mark.