2-Time Olympic Judo Champ Kayla Harrison preps for MMA debut

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CHICAGO - She's a champion twice over, but Kayla Harrison is a little anxious about Thursday night.

"Yeah, I'm very anxious. This is all new to me. I'm a white belt all over again."

Harrison is already a legend in the Judo world, becoming the first American ever to win Olympic gold in the sport. She did it two times in four years.

Now, she's making the jump to MMA, joining the Professional Fighters League in its inaugural season.

"It's a different sport. In Judo, you compete all the time. I compete 15 times a year sometimes. You fight all the same girls over and over and over again. You don't just train for one person. For me, this is different. I've been training for one girl for the last four or five months. She's the only person I have to worry about. It's just me and her. There's no semifinals. There's no first round. You get a bye to the finals. This is it. All in one match, all in one night."

Opposite Harrison and Brittney Elkin on the fight card, are guys like 'Ill' Will Brooks, a graduate of Warren Township High School - all vying for a million dollar prize at the end of the year.

The PFL format sports a seven-match regular season, where fighters try to accumulate enough points to qualify for the postseason and eventually the ultimate championship bout that pays $1 million to each weight class winner.

Thursday night marks the second stop on the PFL tour with tickets still available for fight night at the Chicago Theatre.

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