When Kayla Harrison claimed she would outgrapple former UFC champ Israel Adesanya

MMA sensation Kayla Harrison’s audacious assertion that her grappling prowess could overcome former UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya has resurfaced, igniting a viral debate within the MMA community.

A former Judoka world champion, Harrison transitioned to professional mixed martial arts in 2018 under an exclusive contract with the PFL. With an impressive record of 16 wins and 1 loss, the 33-year-old secured a deal with the UFC after the promotion’s CEO, Dana White, made the announcement.

Scheduled to make her UFC debut at UFC 300 in April, Harrison is set to face former UFC women’s bantamweight champion Holly Holm. As news of her move to the UFC circulated on social media, an old clip of Harrison making a bold statement gained attention.

In the clip from 2021, after a match, Harrison confidently addressed the hypothetical challenge of facing a 6ft tall world-class striker. Asserting her dominance, she claimed that she could easily take down a larger opponent, suggesting that her grappling skills would pose a threat to the likes of Israel Adesanya.

“Listen! Everyone keeps saying, ‘oh how do you solve the Kayla Harrison puzzle, how do you beat her?’ Spoiler alert! There’s no freaking puzzle, I put you on your back and I mess you up. I told you one by one, they’re all gonna fall. So doubt me now. But I’m going to show you how great I am,” Harrison boldly declared.

She continued, “Scientists, you kept talking about scientists, scientists at City Kickboxing…Izzy couldn’t stop my takedowns!”

This statement left MMA fans puzzled, considering the significant size difference between Adesanya and Harrison, who primarily competes in the women’s lightweight division. Harrison’s UFC debut at bantamweight against Holly Holm adds another layer to the discussion surrounding her bold claim.