Kayla Harrison’s second MMA bout took a lot longer than the first, but end result was the same.
A two-time Olympic gold medalist — the first American ever to claim gold at that level — Harrison improved to 2-0 as professional MMA fighter with a third-round TKO win over Jozette Cotton (8-2) in a lightweight bout at PFL 6 on Thursday at the Ocean Resort Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Harrison spent the first couple of minutes testing out her striking before exploding with a double leg that immediately put her in side control.
From that position, Harrison transitioned to mount and used to strikes to open Cotton up for a late armbar attempt, but Cotton was able to survive and make it to the second round. That was uncharted territory for Harrison, who won her debut this past June via first-round submission.
However, Harrison looked comfortable using her grappling to take Cotton down and score points from inside her opponent’s guard. The second round was all Harrison and a likely 10-8 on the scorecards for her, but that was rendered moot in round three when Harrison put Cotton away with ground-and-pound at the 1:24 mark of the final period.
“I’m still trying to get all the issues out of the game plan, but overall I’m happy,” Harrison said in her post-fight interview. “I never want it to go three rounds, but it’s good to know that I can go three, or five, or 10, or however long it takes to put somebody away.”