Olympians Kayla Harrison & May Ooi take next steps in MMA

Above: May Ooi (left) and Kayla Harrison (right) – pictures via Facebook.

By IMMAF.org lead writer, Jorden Curran

The appeal of MMA to athletes worldwide knows no bounds. While they each possess extremely contrasting backgrounds in top flight sport, Olympic veterans Kayla Harrison and May Ooi are two such athletes who have recently taken the next steps their high profile transitions in the sport of mixed martial arts.

Last month Los Angeles Times reporter Lance Pugmire indicated that Kayla Harrison is to make her professional MMA debut next year. As a two-time Olympic Judo gold medalist, picking up back-to-back titles at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Harrison is among the most decorated athletes to ever transition to MMA.

Last year it was reported that the 26-year-old signed up with American promotion, the World Series of Fighting (WSOF), as a commentator and brand ambassador. Having since undergone a re-branding under new ownership, the promotion now operates under the title of the Professional Fighters League (PFL).

Most recently, leading Asian promotion ONE Championship revealed that May Ooi, an Olympic swimmer-turned mixed martial artist, had joined the Singapore based organisation.

With a medical degree to her name, Ooi first transitioned to MMA as an amateur in 2013 before continuing to build a 2-2 professional record to date. Ooi represented Singapore at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and will make her competitive debut with ONE Championship as a strawweight contender on August 18.