“Living off Ramen Noodles” – Kayla Harrison Says She Had Only Five Dollars in Her Account

Published 11/22/2021, 5:55 AM EST
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 11: Kayla Harrison of United States celebrates his gold medal after the final women’s -78kgs at Carioca Arena 2 during Day 6 of the 2016 Rio Olympics on August 11, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)


When hard work and talent go hand in hand, success is sure to follow. Most MMA fighters have trained for years before fighting professionally. Unfortunately, some don’t make it that far in their career. MMA is a difficult path and to tread and Kayla Harrison was always aware of this. She spent years of her life trying to balance other responsibilities, along with her training. And this is paying off.

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In a recent interview, the free agent spoke about the sacrifices and hard work she had to put in to reach this level in her career.

She said, “This has been from the first day I stepped on the mat at six years old and bowed in, to being 12 years old and waking up before middle school to go for a run and then, going to the wrestling practice and then, doing my homework in the car and then, going to judo practice and you know.”

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“Not going out with my friends on Friday nights and being sixteen and scared and moving to train with the Olympic coaches and having five dollars in my bank account and living off ramen noodles for years.”

She further said, “This has all been, you know, winning an Olympic gold medal and not having any financial security, not having any freedom in that sense. So, all of this has been a long time coming and building and I trusted the process.”

Indeed, years of dedication and discipline go into excelling in any sport. Not having financial security as well as surviving simply on ramen noodles is a difficult time for an athlete. However, Harrison has come a long way since and is one of the most sought-after MMA fighters around the globe.

What’s next for Kayla Harrison?

Harrison has been with PFL for the majority of her MMA career. After achieving free agency, the fighter does not have to stick to just one promotion. This would give her a lot of freedom in her MMA career ahead.

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Bellator MMA’s President Scott Coker was quite interested in getting Harrison on board to fight their best fighters. Cris Cyborg is a great opponent for her. Fans around the world wait for this exciting fight to materialize.

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What do you think about Kayla Harrison’s early life struggles and sacrifices? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Watch this story: Five Potential Match-Ups for Ketlen Vieira After Her Victory Over Miesha Tate at UFC Vegas 43

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Rohini Kottu

116 articles

Rohini Kottu is a UFC Writer at EssentiallySports. She is also a Psychologist and has a Master's degree in Clinical Psychology. Rohini, in her role as a UFC writer, combines her admiration for the mental resilience that MMA fighters have and her love for analysis.

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