Kayla Harrison currently competes at 155lbs – in the women’s lightweight division at PFL. This was a division specially crafted with Harrison in mind.
To put it in perspective how big Kayla is, UFC doesn’t even really have a featherweight division (145lbs) and has all but disbanded it. This means that Harisson’s highest profile possible opponents are from the 145lbs division – and they’re aging out of the competition slowly.
This relates mainly to former teammate Amanda Nunes along with MMA legend Cris Cyborg. Cyborg was dethroned by Nunes, and has since moved to Bellator after a dispute with Dana White soured contract renegotiations.
With Harrison’s loss at PFL, and pending free agency, she’s still targeting to make her name in the WMMA space.
She has only 2 left on her contract and had said she wouldn’t be participating in the next season of PFL.
This prompted PFL management to send Cyborg an outlandish public offer.
“OFFER STANDS,” he wrote. “Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg, $1M each fighter + $2M winner. Additional ‘tip’ … winner choice Rolls-Royce. Biggest cash purse in history for female MMA fight. No more hiding … decide the best inside the cage … PFL MMA PPV Super Fight.” – PFL exec wrote on twitter.
Cyborg was quick to shut this down.
On the surface, it would appear that Cris’ lack of interest was due to Harrison’s recent defeat against Larissa Pacheco.. But Cris claimed otherwise.
“I have made more than he’s guaranteeing. He’s already done this publicly before and then failed to reach out privately. I don’t enjoy public negotiations as it can cause safety concerns in Brazil. I’m not looking to work with a promoter who’s already putting me down in the media.”
Cyborg used the tweet offer as an opportunity to advertise her professional boxing outing.
Cris Cyborg will be boxing Gabrielle Holloway in a pro boxing bout on the undercard of Terence Crawford vs. David Avanesyan on Dec. 10 in Omaha for four rounds.
It’s interesting to observe how PFL is trying to spin Harrison’s loss as if it hadn’t happened. As PFL’s biggest star, Harrison’s defeat is a biggest question mark on the promotion to date.
Previously Harisson had to face a lot of criticism for repeatedly facing the same opponents at PFL – which Dana White once described as:
“Kayla Harrison hasn’t fought anybody yet,” White said. “She hasn’t fought anybody.”
“And listen, I like her. I got nothing against her. But come on, let’s be honest. Let’s be honest.”