Two-Time Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison Earns First Pro Win with First Round Armbar

Two time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison needed less than one round to get her first professional win as she made short work of Brittney Elkins on Thursday night

Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison has all the makings of the next superstar in women’s mixed martial arts and now she has her first professional win.

On Thursday night in the Professional Fighters League, Harrison needed less than one round to finish off opponent Brittney Elkins in a 155-pound contest on the main card airing on NBC Sports Network.

Harrison, who is the most accomplished judoka in American history, was a former teammate of Ronda Rousey, who made waves in the UFC after she won a bronze medal in the Olympics before transitioning to MMA.

While she wasn’t certain she would actually fight after her last Olympic win, Harrison ultimately made the move and now it appears she’s hooked after a dominant performance in her debut.

Harrison wasted no time taking Elkins to the ground with a slick inside leg trip after the first punches of the fight were thrown. From there, Harrison was constantly passing her opponent’s defense as she quickly moved into back control while raining down punches.

Rather than locking up the rear naked choke, Harrison saw an opening to go for an armbar submission and she wrapped up the hold with surgical precision before rolling through and trapping Elkins where there was virtually no escape.

The end came at 3:18 into the first round after Elkins tapped out due to the submission.

“I was wicked nervous,” Harrison said after her first professional win. “There’s no pressure like the pressure of an Olympic final. The reason I was so nervous is because this is new.

“I really enjoyed it and I can’t wait for the next one.”

Harrison has already stated her long term goals would be to earn her way to an eventual showdown with UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, who is universally recognized as the top pound-for-pound fighter in the women’s divisions.

Obviously one win won’t get her there yet but Harrison sounds committed to the journey it will take to prove she’s got what it takes to add a MMA championship to go alongside her two Olympic gold medals.

“I want to fight and I want to get better,” Harrison said. “I have a goal and that’s the be the best in the world.”

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Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the industry since 2003 with bylines on FOX Sports, CNN, Bleacher Report and numerous other outlets.