How a Kayla Harrison bloodbath lifted a weight off Courtney King’s shoulders entering Invicta FC 45

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How a Kayla Harrison bloodbath lifted a weight off Courtney King’s shoulders entering Invicta FC 45
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  • Kayla Harrison
    Kayla Harrison
    American Olympic judoka and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter

The last time fight fans saw Courtney King inside an MMA cage, she was on the losing side of a bout against now back-to-back PFL champion Kayla Harrison.

The outcome wasn’t one she wanted, but King (4-2) was able to find a silver lining in defeat. It’s something she is taking into her Invicta FC 45 bout against Romana Pascual (5-2).

Invicta FC 45 takes place Wednesday at PAL KC in Kansas City, Kan., and streams live and free on MMA Junkie at 8 p.m. E.T.

Compared to other fights, there is a little less weight on her shoulders. King had always dreaded the idea of being sliced and bloodied during a fight. The Harrison fight, however, was as bloody as they come. A strike from Harrison sliced King wide open in the bout, which caused blood to spurt all over both fighters and the canvas. King was drenched.

“I think one of the biggest things I’ve been afraid of is having a really nasty cut on my face,” King recently told MMA Junkie. “After that happened, I had this huge cut. I still have a nice scar on my face. It didn’t hurt nearly as bad as I thought it would. It wasn’t that bad being covered in my own blood. I think having that experience, that was one of the biggest things. I’ve always been afraid of getting cut. Now that it’s done and over with, it’s kind of a nice thing to be past and not be scared of that anymore.”

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Some people might think King’s fight against Harrison, one of the world’s best female fighters, would be a big confidence boost. King is indifferent about the experience, however. She wanted to get the win more than anything.

“It does and it doesn’t,” King said. “I wish it would’ve gone better, obviously. We all want to win. I think the biggest thing is I’m definitely less afraid of getting cut. That’s nice. I’m not going to be afraid of elbows so much. I mean, yeah, I guess there is more confidence. No one I’m going to fight is probably going to have as big of a name as her, so I don’t know. More confidence, less confidence.”

After 14 months away from the cage, King is eager to reenter the win column. She hasn’t watched much tape on Pascual, but knows there is an inherent challenge regardless of who she faces.

“Hopefully I’ll win this time,” King said. “I guess I’m just looking to have a great fight, have a fun fight. I hope the fight goes everywhere (with) some striking (and) ground stuff. I think it’ll be fun. Maybe it’ll be just as bloody as the last one. It will hopefully just be a great fight for both of us.”