Kayla Harrison

USA

Chooses to stay with PFL
LightweightPFL
March 8, 2022
Harrison has re-signed with the Professional Fighters League on a multi-year contract, the promotion announced Tuesday.
ANALYSIS
Harrison hit free agency after winning another $1 million top prize under the PFL banner, and many thought she might be seeking a step up in competition for higher-profile fights. She'll instead force that competition to come to her, while signing a presumably-lucrative offer and getting another opportunity for a million-dollar bonus by rolling through the division's 155-pound women's bracket. For those still hopeful a matchup with Cris Cyborg might be in the future, the signing doesn't necessarily rule that prospect fight out. Per Aaron Bronsteter of TSN.ca, Harrison's manager has relayed that he's '100 percent' sure the fight will happen, either via a promotional crossover event, or the possibility of PFL luring Cyborg via free agency.
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Cashes another $1 million check
LightweightPFL
October 27, 2021
Harrison defeated Taylor Guardado via submission (armbar) at 4:00 of Round 2 at the PFL Championships on Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale.
ANALYSIS
Harrison came out with a dominant Round 1, which is hardly surprising considering she closed as high as a (-5000) betting favorite. The fight was on the feet for less than 30 seconds before Harrison got a takedown and passed guard, but Guardado got back to her feet and even landed a big right hand. Harrison recovered and executed another perfect judo toss and was able to finish the frame on top. It took less than 60 seconds into Round 2 for Harrison to execute a trip takedown and get back to her ground-and-pound. Guardado gave up her back and Harrison continued to unleash before isolating the arm in transition and forcing the tap. It was another dominant performance from PFL's biggest star, and it once again earns her the promotion's $1 million top prize. The only question remaining is what's next for the 31-year-old, though nobody could blame her for sticking to PFL and continuing to cash big checks. Former Bellator champion Julia Budd awaits as a potential challenge in PFL, though there will always be questions about a move to the UFC's featherweight division. Her MMA record still sits unblemished at 12-0.
Dominates again at PFL 8
LightweightPFL
August 25, 2021
Harrison defeated Genah Fabian via TKO (ground and pound) at 4:01 of Round 1 at PFL 2021 8 on August 19 in Hollywood, Florida.
ANALYSIS
Harrison again closed as nearly a (-5000) betting favorite for this fight, and she once again made easy work of her opponent. She used her judo skills to grab hold of her opponent and take her down with ease, ultimately finishing with heavy ground-and-pound. She didn't even absorb a single strike. Next up, she'll face Taylor Guardado on October 27 with a $1 million prize on the line. Her regular PFL adversary -- Larissa Pacheco -- did not advance, as she was removed from the tournament for missing weight. Look for Harrison to again be a massive betting favorite, but sportsbooks are already looking ahead and lining Harrison up for superfights against the likes of Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg. Early oddsmakers peg Harrison as a (+250) and (+170) underdog for those two fights, respectively.
Ragdolls Cindy Dandois at PFL 6
LightweightPFL
June 28, 2021
Harrison defeated Cindy Dandois via submission (armbar) at 4:44 of Round 1 at PFL 6 on Friday in Atlantic City.
ANALYSIS
Harrison entered this fight as a massive betting favorite -- as high as -5000 at closing -- and looked every bit the part. She was never in danger, able to get a MMA veteran to the mat with ease before softening her up with ground-and-pound and securing the armbar. The win locks up a spot in the PFL playoffs for Harrison, who has accrued 12 points with two first-round stoppages in the 2021 season. She'll end up as the No. 2 seed, however, as Larissa Pacheco -- who Harrison defeated for the 2019 championship -- earned both her stoppages slightly quicker to gain the No. 1 seed. Both Harrison and Pacheco should be heavily favored in their first playoff matches, but it again seems the tournament is Harrison's to lose.
Cruises at PFL 3
LightweightPFL
May 12, 2021
Harrison defeated Mariana Morais via TKO (punches) at 1:23 of Round 1 at PFL 3 on Thursday in Atlantic City.
ANALYSIS
This was easy work for Harrison, who remains unbeaten in MMA. She entered as high as a (-3000) betting favorite for this one -- which is as big of a line as you'll ever see in MMA -- and looked every bit the part. After a few kicks, Harrison initiated a clinch and executed a trip. From there, it was full mount and heavy ground-and-pound until the referee stepped in. Harrison will earn the full six points for the women's lightweight standings and appears to be well on her way to another $1 million top prize. There will always be questions about a potential move to the UFC for the 30-year-old, but for now, she appears content to gain valuable experience against lesser competition, with a greater likelihood of a big payday as well.
Navigating a tough 2020
LightweightPFL
December 17, 2020
Harrison's scheduled matchup against Jozette Cotton at Titan FC 66 has been cancelled after her opponent was hospitalized due to weigh-in issues, Damon Martin of MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
While Harrison remains under contract with the Professional Fighters League, she's had to look elsewhere to remain active in 2020, as PFL has temporarily suspended its operations. This resulted in an appearance with Invicta FC, where she made her featherweight debut with a TKO victory over Courtney King back on Nov. 20. She was scheduled for another lightweight fight under the banner of a different promotion this week, but ultimately won't get to compete. Looking ahead, the expectation is that PFL will be back for a 2021 season, at which point she'll again look to compete for a $1 million top prize in the lightweight division. PFL has also made noise of late with the signing of former pro boxer Clarissa Shields, who will train MMA out of Jackson-Wink in New Mexico. Her striking prowess will eventually line up for an intriguing matchup with Harrison -- a former Olympic judo medalist -- should PFL get operations back on track in 2021.