MMA journalist Ariel Helwani recently called out Cris Cyborg’s team for trying to manipulate the narrative around Kayla Harrison and make it seem like Harrison is ducking a fight with Cyborg.
In a recent video, Helwani laid out the timeline of events and contracts surrounding Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg. Helwani explained that Harrison’s contract with PFL was expiring at the end of 2022 after her last scheduled fight. Meanwhile, Cyborg and her team were aware that Harrison was in talks with the UFC for a fight in 2023.
Despite this knowledge, Cyborg’s team still tried to claim on social media that Harrison was ducking Cyborg by not accepting a February 2023 fight date with Bellator. Helwani pointed out that this tactic was “incredibly cringe” and that Cyborg’s team knew the true circumstances around Harrison’s contract status.
Helwani called out Cyborg’s husband Ray Elbe in particular, stating: “I think that the majority of the stuff that you see online from Cris Cyborg isn’t coming from her, which I think is unfortunate.”
The MMA journalist stated his belief that Cyborg’s team was trying to manipulate the narrative to make it seem like the undefeated Harrison was scared to fight Cyborg, when the reality was that contractual issues prevented the fight from happening in early 2023.
Helwani praised Harrison’s willingness to fight the best competition and her back-to-back $1 million tournament wins in PFL. He reiterated that it was Cyborg’s team that was playing games online and attempting to paint a false narrative about Harrison ducking the fight.
It remains to be seen if Harrison and Cyborg will meet in the UFC or Bellator cage in the future. But thanks to Helwani calling out these apparent online tactics, fans now have a clearer perspective on the real circumstances preventing the super fight from happening immediately.