Around a year ago Kayla Harrison stopped battering her opponent in Professional Fighters League, she burst into tears. You may wonder why a person who by then was two-time Olympic champion and who is considered to be one of the best American judoka was crying? Simply because she wanted to be better. Because she wanted to be the best.
Now, before her forthcoming fight with New Zealand underdog Genah Fabian, Kayla Harrison seems absolutely different. She claims that there is no female athlete that grapples as good as she is. While her opponent thinks differently, which may already sound as a feud to fuel up the forthcoming fight, we can clearly see where Harrison's self-assurance is coming from.
Kayla Harrison was a born fighter. She got into judo at the age of six, being introduced to this sport by her mother who has a black belt. At the age of fifteen she started training professionally, and that was the first experience that could have broken her. At that time she was training under coach Daniel Doyle. Instead of the first sporting success she experienced abuse from the coach, whom she later reported, which lead to him being convicted to ten years in jail.
After that Kayla Harrison started training under Jim Pedro Sr, who, although now retired, was the person person in the US to win Olympic Judo Championship in temper tantrum. According to Kayla Harrison it's thank to Pedro, who helped her move on after being abused by Doyle, she became a two-time Olympic champion and the youngest person in the US history to be awarded the 6th Degree Black Belt.
So, mere year ago she defeated Moriel Charneski in PFL 11, and despite her victory she wasn't all that content about her performance, claiming that she can be better.
Her mood before fighting against Genah Fabian is a far cry from her last year's post-victory doubts. She stands by the claim that whatever happens she is the best female grapple in the world and nothing can change that.
While Genah Fabian may be figuring out some tricks to defeat Harrison, the latter says that she had never changed her style and she's never going to change her style for any kind of a promotion or any specific match. Harrison stands by the fact that her foundation is grappling and she is going to continue doing that, with no regards whether she be considered boring or not.
Her attitude comes close to zen practice, as regardless whether she wins or loses the fight to Fabian, she will still remain the best female grapple on the planet.