'Blood everywhere': MMA world rocked by 'terrifying' scenes

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·Sports Editor
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Kayla Harrison and Courtney King, pictured here in action during their bout at Invicta.
Kayla Harrison left Courtney King in a bloody mess. Image: Invicta

Kayla Harrison left the MMA world stunned on Saturday after an incredible debut with Invicta in a main event bout against Courtney King.

Harrison’s first fight in 11 months was basically over long before the ref called it.

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Over the course of about five minutes, the Olympic gold medallist landed blow after blow on King in a one-sided matchup.

By the end of the fight, the mat was covered in blood, courtesy of a gushing wound on King’s face.

The blood on King’s face, from a cut opened by repeated elbows as Harrison dominated King on the ground, ended up looking like something out of a horror movie.

Fans and commentators took to social media in shock.

Harrison, now 8-0, remains the only American to win an Olympic gold medal in judo and has been consistently dominant since switching to MMA in 2018.

Harrison won gold in the 78kg judoka at the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

She usually competes in the PFL, a promotion that postponed its season due to the coronavirus pandemic and allowed her to fight in the all-women Invicta.

Saturday’s bout was also notable because it was Harrison’s debut at featherweight, the weight class she will likely have to compete in if she wants to join the UFC.

If her performance against King is any judge, the switch was little trouble for Harrison.

Kayla Harrison, pictured here celebrating her gold medal at the 2016 Olympics.
Kayla Harrison celebrates her gold medal at the 2016 Olympics. (Photo by Xavier Laine/Getty Images)

Valentina Shevchenko retains UFC title

Valentina Shevchenko faced a near-impossibility on Saturday: Living up to the hype and the expectations that surrounded her women’s flyweight title defence against Jennifer Maia in the co-main event of UFC 255 at Apex.

Though it often doesn’t seem like it when she’s in the cage, Shevchenko is human and Maia came to win.

The result was a closer-than-expected fight in which Maia stunned everyone by being competitive throughout.

Shevchenko retained her title by winning a unanimous decision by scores of 49-46 three times, but it wasn’t the blowout the roughly 18-1 odds suggested it would be.

Shevchenko, one of the sport’s most well-rounded fighters, chose to grapple for much of the night against Maia, who has a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and who earned the title shot by upsetting Joanne Calderwood with an armbar.

Except for the second round, when Maia got top position, Shevchenko was in command throughout.

But there wasn’t the highlight reel ending nor the sheer decimation in her three previous title defences.

Maia spent much of the fight on her back, pinned beneath Shevchenko, but Shevchenko was never able to come close to a submission.

Nor did she do a lot of damage with ground-and-pound.

With Jack Baer and Kevin Iole - Yahoo Sports US

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