Kayla Harrison blasts disrespectful UFC fans for asking Tsarukyan if he’d hook up with her

Two-time Olympic judoka Kayla Harrison is gearing up for her long-awaited debut in the UFC next month. Scheduled to take place at the historic UFC 300 event on April 13th, Harrison will step into the octagon to face former champion Holly Holm. This move marks Harrison’s transition from the PFL to the UFC, a shift that has been eagerly anticipated by fans and pundits alike.

After achieving victory as a two-time winner in the PFL tournament, Kayla Harrison decided to take her talents to the UFC earlier this year. Her signing with the UFC sparked excitement among MMA enthusiasts, who have been eagerly awaiting her promotional debut. With her impressive judo background and notable accomplishments in the PFL, Harrison brings a formidable skill set to the UFC roster.

Leading up to UFC 300, Kayla Harrison encountered an unsettling moment during a fan Q&A session before the UFC 299 weigh-ins. While sharing the stage with fellow contenders such as Arman Tsarukyan and Alex Pereira, Harrison faced an unexpected and inappropriate question directed at Tsarukyan. Despite the disrespectful nature of the query, Tsarukyan handled it with composure.

In a subsequent interview on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, Kayla Harrison opened up about the incident. She expressed her frustration and disappointment. Reflecting on the inappropriate question posed to Tsarukyan, Harrison emphasized the lack of respect shown towards female contenders in comparison to their male counterparts.

Harrison said: “At one point there was a fan who came up and spoke to Arman in Russian. Arman was getting booed the whole time, and we’ve talked about it and we’re fine. The guy asked him basically how many times would-, he asked a really inappropriate question about me. Arman answered it, and I looked like an idiot. I’m up on stage laughing and Megan Olivi says ‘Would you care to translate it?’ and Arman was like ‘No, it was a stupid question move on’.”

Harrison stated her extensive achievements as an Olympic champion, a mother, and an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse. She emphasized the need for dignity and professionalism in MMA discourse.

“Then in the next day I’m tagged in all of these Russian outlets with the translation of what he asked. It’s disheartening I think, it’s disrespectful. I’m a two-time Olympic champion, a world champion, I’m a mother, I’m an advocate for survivors of sexual abuse, I wrote a book and I have a foundation. In that sense, it’s disrespectful that someone would even ask that question.”

Harrison went on to say: “More than that, you would never hear a female get asked ‘How many times you have sex with Alex Pereira? We don’t sexualize men like that. So it was disheartening.”

Kayla Harrison’s experience sheds light on the ongoing challenges faced by female athletes in combat sports. By speaking out against gender-based discrimination and advocating for equal treatment, Harrison exemplifies a commitment to promoting inclusivity and respect within the MMA community. Her forthcoming debut at UFC 300 not only marks a significant milestone in her career but also serves as a testament to her resilience and determination in overcoming adversity.