Olympic Judo Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison Makes Long-Awaited MMA Debut In Professional Fighters League Live Today
NBC Sports continues coverage of the PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE tomorrow, Thursday, June 21, live at 9 p.m. ET on NBCSN from the Chicago Theatre in Chicago, Ill. MMA coverage will be headlined by a trio of lightweight showdowns, including Luiz Firmino (20-8) vs. Will Brooks (18-4), and Brian Foster (27-10) vs. Ramsey Nijem (9-6). In a special feature, two-time Olympic Judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison makes her long-awaited MMA debut against Brittney Elkin (3-4).
Firmino, a fighting veteran known for his explosive style, enters the 2018 season coming off a July 2017 win at PFL: Everett against Eddy Ellis (21-7). Firmino is up against Brooks, a Chicago native looking to defend his home turf and end a three-fight losing streak in his first bout of the year.
Foster makes his 2018 debut, continuing to fight in honor of his late brother, Brandon. The 2015 WSOF Lightweight champion comes off a June 2016 loss at PFL: Daytona against Jon Fitch (31-7). Foster faces off against Nijem, who will be accompanied by twenty Palestinian refugee children at the bout through his partnership with the Be Human App. He makes his PFL debut after a 5-5 stint with the UFC.
Harrison looks to kick start her MMA career in her debut PFL fight. The two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo has not fought since taking home gold at the Rio Olympics on August 11, 2016. She takes on Elkin, a Jiu Jitsu specialist with a significant reach. Elkin has not fought in nearly a year since her July 2017 loss to Amanda Bell (5-5).
The NBCSN show will also feature Jason High (21-6) vs. Efrain Escudero (29-13), in a lightweight bout, and Ronny Markes (18-5) vs. Sean O'Connell (17-9) in a light heavyweight bout.
Todd Harris calls the action, joined by MMA Hall of Famers and analysts Randy Couture and Bas Rutten, alongside Yves Edwards and reporter Caroline Pearce.
The PROFESSIONAL FIGHTERS LEAGUE features a regular season, playoffs, and championship, and individual fighters compete in a win-and-advance postseason format. The 2018 PFL season consists of seven regular-season events, a bracket-style playoff, and a $10 million postseason prize pool. The premiere season begins with 72 athletes, 12 in each of the six different weight-classes, with one fighter in each division earning $1 million and the title of true champion. NBC Sports will present exclusive live Thursday night PFL telecasts, including seven regular-season live events in prime time exclusively on NBCSN through the end of August.
NBC SPORTS APP: The NBC Sports app - NBC Sports Group's live streaming product for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs - will stream coverage on NBCSN via "TV Everywhere," giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms. The NBC Sports app is available on Apple iOS, Android and select Samsung devices, as well as on Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Comcast's X1, Roku, Win10, and Xbox.