Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, wants to fight in the UFC’s octagon. However, UFC president Dana White has stated that Harrison isn’t ready yet.
Harrison denied these allegations during an interview, saying she would happily prove him wrong.
Though she has spent her entire professional career with the Professional Fighters League (PFL), the COVID-19 pandemic provided Harrison with a new opportunity last year. She was able to claim a second-round TKO win at rival promotion Invicta FC after the PFL’s 2020 season was cancelled.
On May 6th, 2021, the American made her long-awaited return to the PFL when she faced Mariana Morais in a PFL 3 match. Harrison seemed determine to dominate the rest of the roster after winning the bout yet again via a spectacular TKO finish. When asked how she strikes a balance between her personal interests and the promotion’s, she explained the situation.
“You don’t want to bite the hand that feeds you. PFL has been good to me; they’ve taken great care of me. I do truly believe in the format that the PFL is using. I believe this will make MMA more sport-based,” she said.
“I think that this is the future. But I want to be the greatest. And statistically speaking, the greatest fighters are in the UFC. There’s just no question. The UFC is synonymous with MMA. For me it isn’t really all about money, its about the legacy of being the greatest. So we’ll see what happens.”
Harrison started her mixed martial arts career alongside Ronda Rousey. She made her PFL debut on June 21st, 2018 in the lightweight division against Brittney Elkin, and won by armbar submission. Harrison is yet to make the cut in the UFC, while Rousey has had a fruitful run during her prime time.
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