Tate, a former UFC women’s bantamweight champion, is excited to see Harrison cross over to her promotion, but she’s skeptical by Harrison’s decision to cut down to 135 pounds.
Harrison has fought most of her MMA career at 155 pounds, and recently dropped to 145. The two-time PFL $1 million season winner never has competed at bantamweight, though UFC CEO Dana White recently said Harrison did a test cut and was successful.
Tate thinks Harrison may be able to get down to the required weight to compete at bantamweight, but doesn’t think she’ll perform at her best.
“When I saw it was at 135, I was shocked, because Kayla Harrison begged for 155-pound division at PFL, and she got it and I think she’s been great there,” Tate said in an interview with SiriusXM. “She’s been tremendous. I know she’s made 145 before. I think it was tough for her. I think 135 is going to really suck the life out of her, and it’s not the best move.
“I guess I’m speaking from personal experience, because when I went down to 125, although I did it and I still had a pretty decent camp, I just didn’t perform at my best, and I think Kayla is just used to being such a big, strong woman, that she won’t have that on her side, and I’m really curious to see how that’s going to benefit her with someone like Holly, who really does move so well. She really has some of the best footwork in the women’s divisions, and I think that’s going to be tough for Kayla.”
Harrison will be debuting at UFC 300 on April 13 in Las Vegas. She will take on former champion Holly Holm. Tate is curious to see how this matchup plays out, but given her skepticism around Harrison’s weight cut, she’s picking Holm to win.
“I’m pumped for Kayla,” Tate said. “I’m excited for her to come over here. I think it’s going to be really good, but if you’re asking me who I think is going to win that fight, looking at it right now, I would say Holly.”