ABU DHABI — Coronavirus has made the past year a difficult path for everyone in the fight game, but it was especially troublesome for a competitor like Kayla Harrison . The two-time Olympic judo gold medalist was just starting to come into her own in mixed martial arts in 2020. Harrison (8-0) was the PFL’s 2019 women’s lightweight champion, and with seven fights under her belt at that point, she was just reaching the point that she no longer felt like a newbie in the cage. When the pandemic hit, the PFL had to cancel its season, as, unlike other fight promotions, the PFL’s regular season and playoffs format can’t be condensed in a sport as physically demanding as MMA. Harrison eventually was able to get a fight in under the Invicta FC banner. Meanwhile, her coach, American Top Team’s Mike Brown, says she used her year showing up to the gym as if she had a fight booked anyway, “This is someone who, whether she’s got a fight or not, she’s in the gym,” Brown told MMA Junkie during UFC 257 fight week.
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