Kayla Harrison got everything she could out of judo. She won a world championship in 2010 and then two Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016 in her –78 kg weight class. After the Rio Olympics, Harrison announced she would transition to MMA.

Since then, Harrison has won both of her Professional Fighters League bouts in June and August. But the change in profession has its challenges.

"It's been tough," Harrison says. "You go from doing the same thing over and over again every day for 20 years to people trying to knock your head off. It's a big transition. Lucky for me, I'm enjoying every second of it. I really feel like this was what I was put on this world to do. Every day, I wake up excited to go to work.

"My boyfriend, Tony Martin, he's a fighter in the UFC. He's been a big help in the behind-the-scenes stuff, the things you don't think about and see: How to eat properly, if I'm overtraining, what I should be thinking about leading up to a fight, the mental game. My coaches at American Top Team are amazing."

Harrison's move to judo is not unprecedented. In fact, one of the most famous MMA fighters of all time did the same thing. Ronda Rousey, who won judo bronze at the 2008 Olympics, jumped to MMA shortly after.

"I probably wouldn't have a job if it weren't for Ronda," Harrison says. "We were teammates back in the day, roommates. I was her training partner. For me, she's always been someone I strive to follow in her footsteps. I always call it my Ronda complex. Anything she does, I have to do."

During their Olympic careers, Rousey and Harrison both trained in the Boston area at Pedro's Judo Center.

"She was older than me," Harrison says. "I was 16 when I moved to Boston, so she used to beat the crap out of me. But it made me into the strong fighter I am today."

Rousey is now 31 and Harrison is 28.

Harrison will reportedly fight five to six times next year in PFL. Harrison is one of the biggest names in the league, which held its inaugural "season" this year. (Unlike UFC, PFL operates more like a major sports league with a regular season, postseason and championship format.) 

But if Harrison is really like Rousey, she'll head over to UFC at some point.

Harrison spoke to ThePostGame while attending the Sports Legends Dinner for the Buoniconti Fund to Cure Paralysis in September.

-- Follow Jeff Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband. Like Jeff Eisenband on Facebook.