Kayla Harrison: I’ll Make Dana White Eat His Words

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison is ready to prove to Dana White that she’s “worth the investment,” and plans on making the UFC President eat his words.

Harrison has made a dominant tear towards the top of the MMA agenda in the past few years, …

Dana White, Kayla Harrison

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison is ready to prove to Dana White that she’s “worth the investment,” and plans on making the UFC President eat his words.

Harrison has made a dominant tear towards the top of the MMA agenda in the past few years, and currently sits as the most sought-after free agent in the sport. It’s easy to see why that’s the case.

The Ohio native is a two-time Olympic gold medalist, having stood on the top of the podium at both London 2012 and Rio 2016, and has continued the form she had as a judoka into her blossoming MMA career. In just 12 fights and three years as a professional, Harrison has racked up a perfect record that includes five knockouts and five submissions.

After experiencing championship glory for the first time in 2019, the 31-year-old repeated the feat in this year’s PFL season. After decimating Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian with first-round finishes, Harrison secured a second title and $1 million check with a second-frame armbar against Taylor Guardado last month.

Harrison Is Ready To Prove Her Value

Harrison’s latest outing represented the final fight on her PFL contract. Despite her manager Ali Abdelaziz revealing his confidence in another deal with the promotion being secured, Harrison previously admitted the surging organization would have to offer something special to keep her.

The deeper into free agency she gets, the more unlikely another season in the PFL seems. With that in mind, talk of possible moves to Bellator and the UFC have reached the forefront in recent weeks.

Given she currently competes at lightweight, a move to the UFC would see Harrison join a lackluster 145-pound roster, which many believe could be ended in the near future. Having seen Amanda Nunes clear out the weight class, Dana White recently revealed his uncertainty over the future of the women’s featherweight division.

Despite that, Harrison isn’t worried. In a recent interview with MMA Fighting, the American Top Team product claimed she’ll prove to White that she’s worth the investment, and plans on making the UFC kingpin “eat his words.”

“I get it (talk of the UFC dissolving the featherweight division), but also, Dana has said a lot of things before. Look, it’s my job. If I wanna fight in the UFC someday, If I wanna fight at featherweight for the UFC someday, then it’s my job to prove to him that I’m worth the investment and I’m worth the risk. All I can do is go out there and continue to be dominant and continue to be so good that you can’t ignore me. I know that I’ll do that. I know that, he says a lot of stuff, and I know that I’m going to make him eat his words, and he’ll smile when he does it and it’ll be great. I’m not worried about it. That time is coming.”

With reports suggesting the UFC is unlikely to make a strong push for Kayla Harrison at the moment, it seems the Ohio native will have to continue building her profile elsewhere before attempting to reignite the UFC’s featherweight division, although former title challenger Felicia Spencer recently told MMA News that the roster doesn’t need Harrison.

Given her ongoing back-and-forth with Bellator champ Cris Cyborg, perhaps we’ll be seeing Harrison join the Scott Coker-led promotion for 2022.

Would you like to see Kayla Harrison join the UFC featherweight roster soon?

Continue Reading Kayla Harrison: I’ll Make Dana White Eat His Words at MMA News.

Kayla Harrison: I Know Where I Want To Go

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison has revealed that she knows which promotion she wants to fight for, but says it’s ultimately down to her coaches and manager.

Harrison’s future has been one of the most discussed topics in mixed martial arts thi…

Kayla Harrison

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison has revealed that she knows which promotion she wants to fight for, but says it’s ultimately down to her coaches and manager.

Harrison’s future has been one of the most discussed topics in mixed martial arts this year. Her rise to becoming the most-sought after free agent in the sport has been as impressive as it’s been rapid. The two-time Olympic judo gold medalist only made her professional MMA debut in 2018. Since then, she’s amassed an unblemished 12-0 record that includes five knockouts and five submissions.

Having won the 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship, Harrison repeated the feat this year. With three first-round finishes against Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian, the Ohio native booked her spot in the final opposite Taylor “No Mercy” Guardado. Despite making it to the second round, the 30-year-old became Harrison’s latest fallen victim, doing so via an armbar submission.

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Harrison Has An ideal Destination In Mind

After securing her second championship and second $1 million check, Harrison’s PFL contract expired. Despite stating she’d choose the security of a renewed PFL agreement over the uncertainty of free agency, the 31-year-old has now been without a deal for almost a month.

Harrison spoke about her future in a recent interview with MMA Fighting. After confirming that nothing has been decided yet, the American Top Team product said she was leaving the negotiations and decision-making in the hands of her manager, Dominance MMA CEO Ali Abdelaziz, and her coaches.

“No decision (has been made yet). This is kind of the time where I kinda have to put my trust and my faith in my team. I did the work, I showed up, I won in dominant fashion all year, I talked a little shit, I did my part, I got everyone paying attention, I went out and won another title, and now I have to trust the people that I’ve surrounded myself with. I have to trust Ali. I have to trust my coaches. Because I know what I wanna do; I know where I wanna go. But it really comes down to what they think is best for me, and me having the patience or the wisdom to listen to them and do what they think is best.”

Despite revealing she has an ideal destination in her mind, Harrison reiterated that wherever her team says is best, that’s where she’ll go.

“This is the hard part. Everyone wants to know what the answer is and where I’m going; PFL, Bellator, UFC, etc… I don’t have an answer. I’m staying out of it. I’m gonna trust my coaches… Ali is the one out there doing the work, talking to people, setting up all of these meetings… My job now is just to trust them. If they say, ‘Kayla, you should go here,’ that’s what I’m going to do.”

Where would you like to see Kayla Harrison fight in 2022?

Continue Reading Kayla Harrison: I Know Where I Want To Go at MMA News.

Cyborg Says Harrison Is ‘Acting Like Ronda Rousey Did In The Beginning’

Cris Cyborg is not all that impressed with what she has seen from Kayla Harrison so far.

With Harrison looking to test the waters of free agency after a successful run in the PFL and the UFC seemingly uninterested in her, Bellator has become the to…

Cris Cyborg Kayla Harrison

Cris Cyborg is not all that impressed with what she has seen from Kayla Harrison so far.

With Harrison looking to test the waters of free agency after a successful run in the PFL and the UFC seemingly uninterested in her, Bellator has become the top candidate for the Olympian if she decides to sign elsewhere. Of course, the biggest fight for her if that happens is one of the best to ever do it, featherweight champion Cyborg.

However, Cyborg does not seem to be taking this as a serious threat, as she explained in a recent interview. She compared Harrison to another former Olympic judoka, Ronda Rousey, in that she is being outspoken because she wants people to know who she is, even though she has not fought enough to prove her skills.

“I believe Kayla is just doing like Ronda Rousey was doing in the beginning. I was a champion in Strikeforce, and Ronda started talking about me and all that because people didn’t know who she is at that point. So I think that she’s just following the things that Ronda did in the beginning, she’s just in the beginning too,” Cyborg said.

Ronda Rousey
Image Credit: Getty Images

“I don’t think that she’s gonna leave the PFL. If she left the PFL, then she would be welcomed in Bellator and we can make the fight happen. I just feel like for some reason, I don’t think she’s gonna leave there, but she’s searching online. Let’s see what’s gonna happen. It will be a great fight.”

Another option that Cris Cyborg says that she is down for if Kayla Harrison re-signs with the PFL is doing a cross-promoted fight to still see who the better fighter is. This is something Bellator has done before with Rizin, so it is not out of the realm of possibilities.

“Even if she stays in the PFL, we can still make this fight happen, cross-promotion. But I believe this fight can happen like boxing, have the A-side and the B-side. I know she’s been fighting for two years and that’s it, but she has 50,000 followers. She’s touched the fans a lot. So this fight can happen anytime, just make it like boxing, A and B-side. It’d be a great fight,” Cyborg said.

It is worth watching to see where Kayla Harrison ends up. That said, fighting Cris Cyborg would be basically the biggest thing she could do right now, even if it took place in a cross-promoted environment.

Continue Reading Cyborg Says Harrison Is ‘Acting Like Ronda Rousey Did In The Beginning’ at MMA News.

Kayla Harrison: It’s My Job To Prove To Dana White I’m Worth Signing

Kayla HarrisonKayla Harrison believes she’ll need to force UFC president Dana White’s hand. Harrison is currently a free agent after she became a back-to-back PFL women’s lightweight champion late last month. However, despite her dominance and popularity, White has seemed hesitant about potentially signing her. In particular, he doesn’t believe Harrison is ready for UFC level […]

Kayla Harrison

Kayla Harrison believes she’ll need to force UFC president Dana White’s hand.

Harrison is currently a free agent after she became a back-to-back PFL women’s lightweight champion late last month. However, despite her dominance and popularity, White has seemed hesitant about potentially signing her.

In particular, he doesn’t believe Harrison is ready for UFC level competition and that she would be better off in the PFL.

However, White has said plenty of things before — mainly that women would never compete in the UFC — which is why Harrison is hoping to prove to White that she is worth the risk and investment.

“Dana has said a lot of things before,” Harrison told MMA Fighting. “It’s my job. If I want to fight in the UFC someday, if I want to fight at featherweight for the UFC some day, then it’s my job to prove to him that I’m worth the investment and I’m worth the risk.

“All I can do is to continue to go out there and be so dominant and continue be so good that you can’t ignore me. I know that I’ll do that. He says a lot of stuff and I know that I’m going to make him eat his words and he’ll smile when he does it and it will be great. I’m not worried about it. That time is coming.”

Kayla Harrison: I’m Not Worried About Joining The UFC

White is no stranger to playing down talent outside the UFC, especially in the bigger promotions. That is also why Harrison isn’t taking his comments too personally either.

Especially given what White has done for the sport.

“He’s great at his job,” Harrison said about White. “He freaking started the sport basically. So it’s like who am I to tell him how to do what he does best? I’m not going to sit here and say ‘oh he doesn’t know what he’s talking about, he’s this and he’s that, and he has no idea and I’m different.’ I’m just going to show him.

“Then he’ll see and then he’ll do what he does and it will be great. I’m not worried about it. I’m really not.”

Do you think we’ll see Kayla Harrison in the UFC soon?

WWE Has Reached Out To Kayla Harrison, Per Her Manager

Two-time PFL lightweight champion Kayla Harrison has allegedly been reached out by World Wrestling Entertainment during her free agency.

This is according to her manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who says that WWE has inquired about Harrison’s potential inte…

Kayla Harrison

Two-time PFL lightweight champion Kayla Harrison has allegedly been reached out by World Wrestling Entertainment during her free agency.

This is according to her manager, Ali Abdelaziz, who says that WWE has inquired about Harrison’s potential interest. He also went on to say that Harrison is solely focused on her MMA career right now.

“Everybody trying to sign Kayla. Even Walmart try to sign Kayla. The WWE has been calling too but we’re interested in real fighting,” Abdelaziz told TMZ Sports. “[Kayla’s] focusing on fighting right now. PFL, it doesn’t matter where she gonna be — whatever Kayla wants.”

Harrison has downplayed a more prolonged return to professional wrestling after making a brief appearance at an AEW event with her American Top Team teammates. She was also recently sitting cage-side to watch Bellator women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg earn a first-round knockout over Sinead Kavanagh at Bellator 271.

Kayla Harrison Recently Made An Appearance At An AEW Event

ATT's Kayla Harrison Trashes AEW Experience - Wrestling Inc.
American Top Team Invades All Elite Wrestling

The speculation over Harrison possibly opting for a move to pro wrestling began when she joined ATT owner Dan Lambert, along with UFC stars Jorge Masvidal and Junior dos Santos at AEW: Saturday Night Dynamite earlier this year. Her former Olympic Judo teammate, Ronda Rousey, made the transition from MMA to wrestling with relative ease prior to stepping away from the ring in April 2019.

Nevertheless, Harrison has downplayed any future interest in making the move to the ring, going as far as calling it “a fake sport”.

At 30 years old, Harrison has plenty of time left in the MMA world, but it could be a big boost financially if she decided to make the move to wrestling down the line. She arguably has the marketability to become a wrestling star alongside Becky Lynch, Rousey, and others.

For now, it appears Harrison is laser-focused on MMA. She has earned multiple titles in her relatively short time in the sport and has expressed interest in signing with larger promotions such as Bellator and the UFC.

Do you think Kayla Harrison could eventually end up in professional wrestling?

Continue Reading WWE Has Reached Out To Kayla Harrison, Per Her Manager at MMA News.

Miesha Tate: Free Agent Kayla Harrison Belongs In The UFC

Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate has suggested sought-after free agent Kayla Harrison “belongs in the UFC.”

Not many have risen to prominence in the sport of mixed martial arts quicker and more dominantly than Harrison. The two-…

Miesha Tate, Kayla Harrison

Former UFC Women’s Bantamweight Champion Miesha Tate has suggested sought-after free agent Kayla Harrison “belongs in the UFC.”

Not many have risen to prominence in the sport of mixed martial arts quicker and more dominantly than Harrison. The two-time Olympic gold medalist debuted in MMA two years after her success at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro games. Since then, she’s built an unblemished 12-0 record that includes five knockouts, five submissions, two world championships, and $2 million in prize money.

After winning the 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight Tournament, Harrison returned to defend her crown this year. With first-round finishes against Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian, the 31-year-old found herself in yet another PFL final. Despite making it out of the opening frame, Taylor Guardado had little response to Harrison’s imposing offense, and fell to a second-round armbar submission.

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Tate Calls For Harrison To “Stir Up” 145 pounds In The UFC

Harrison’s second title crowning marked the final fight on her PFL contract. Talk of her future had been rife throughout the 2021 season and has only picked up since her fourth outing of the year. Appearances at UFC and Bellator events in recent weeks has only increased interest in her future destination.

Now, in an interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, UFC women’s bantamweight contender Miesha Tate has offered her thoughts on where Harrison should be headed. According to “Cupcake,” the Ohio native belongs in the UFC. Tate added that she’d love to see Harrison improve the featherweight division alongside the likes of Felicia Spencer and Norma Dumont.

“If she’s a free agent, she belongs in the UFC. I’m not gonna beat around the bush there. She certainly belongs in the UFC. I’d love to see her come over at 145 and see if she can stir up that division a little bit. I love Felicia Spencer, I love Norma Dumont; Norma’s amazing. Obviously, Amanda’s there. They’re training partners (Nunes & Harrison) so it’s just weird. I don’t know how that’ll play out, but I think she adds a lot of value to that division.”

While her comments earlier in the year, in which she claimed the PFL would have to make a substantial offer to keep her, seemed to suggest she’d be on her way out of the promotion, another season in the surging PFL organization appears to be a real possibility.

Prior to her latest championship victory, Harrison’s manager Ali Abdelaziz revealed his confidence in a deal with the PFL brass being secured. Similarly, Harrison herself suggested she’d choose the security of a PFL deal over the uncertainty of free agency.

With the UFC reportedly unlikely to make a push for her signing, Harrison’s future appears to be with either PFL or Bellator, where a clash with Cris Cyborg could await her.

Do you agree with Miesha Tate? Does Kayla Harrison belong in the UFC?

Continue Reading Miesha Tate: Free Agent Kayla Harrison Belongs In The UFC at MMA News.