CHICAGO The greatest judoka in American history makes her MMA debut tonight and is a heavy favorite to be successful right out of the chute.Kayla Harrison (0-0), who won gold medals in judo at the Olympics in 2012 and 2016, fights Brittney Elkin (3-4) in her pro debut on the main card of PFL 2 the Professional Fighters League’s second event of its first season. The main card airs on NBCSN following prelims on PFL’s Facebook page.If Harrison wins, it will be a continuation of successes that have come in the wake of unthinkable horror. Harrison often has spoken out about the sexual abuse she suffered from her judo coach when she was in her early teens. The coach eventually was sentenced to 10 years in prison. Harrison first talked about the abuse with USA TODAY Sports in 2011, even before her first gold medal.
In the wake of massive abuse scandals at places like Penn State University and Michigan State University, Harrison has been taking up the fight against sexual abuse and to help victims in the aftermath.Ahead of her fight with Elkin at Chicago Theatre tonight, Harrison spoke about the #MeToo movement, sexual abuse and victims, and her new book, “Fighting Back,” which she hopes one day will be a regular part of classroom curriculums for girls. “Fighting Back: What an Olympic Champion’s Story Can Teach Us about Recognizing and Preventing Child Sexual Abuse and Helping Kids Recover” was released in May and is available at Amazon.com.
Hear Harrison discuss the book and her efforts in helping fight back against abuse in the video above.And for more onPFL 2, check out theMMA Rumorssection of the site.