Since becoming the first ever American woman to win gold medal in judo at the Summer Olympics, Kayla Harrison has faced questions about a potential future in mixed martial arts.
Now that Harrison has made history with back-to-back gold medals following a win in the Rio Games, those questions only grew louder.
So when the 26-year-old Harrison faced the media in Rio de Janeiro and retired from judo, she addressed the MMA talk and made it clear she has no immediate plans to compete in the sport.
“It’s just so different from judo,” Harrison said, via ESPN. “After a match in judo, you shake a person’s hand or you give them a hug. You bow to them to show respect. MMA isn’t like that. I don’t know if I’m cut out for a world where you get fights based on how pretty you are and how much you talk, not necessarily what you’ve done in the ring.”
It certainly wouldn’t be an easy transition, but Harrison also left the door open for a career down the line. After all, she is only 26.
But if Harrison decides to ride off into the sunset with back-to-back gold medals, she will be just fine with everything she has accomplished in her impressive career, and rightfully so.
“This is my legacy,” Harrison said. “I retire as a two-time Olympic champ, one of the greatest the sport has ever seen.”
Photo Credit: Kayla Harrison, Instagram