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- American Olympic judoka and mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter
Kayla Harrison is feeling ready for the UFC whether certain people believe she’s among the best in the world or not.
The 2019 PFL women’s lightweight champion, Harrison doesn’t agree with UFC president Dana White’s recent comments suggesting she might not be ready for UFC competition. In an interview with TSN, White said the UFC is simply a different level than PFL and that Harrison’s team doesn’t think she’s ready to jump into the level of opposition.
“I don’t know if she’s ready,” White said. “I mean, when she feels like she’s ready, I’m always looking for the best possible people to come in and fight. If you don’t think that we’ve offered her to come over – I just don’t know if her people think she’s ready yet. It’s a whole other level when you get here.”
In eight PFL appearances and one Invicta FC offshoot, Harrison is undefeated with seven finishes.
Speaking with ESPN’s Ariel Helwani, Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medal judoka, laughed off White’s words.
“I think that if Dana is ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money,” Harrison said. “I have stated many times, I’m ready to face the best in the world.”
— Jed I. Goodman (@jedigoodman) May 12, 2021
White listed the notable names found across the women’s divisions in the UFC, noting the high level that exists in the promotion. Although Harrison is unbeaten, she hasn’t been exposed to a well known opponent. Harrison said that’s out of her hands, and she can only control the outcome of her fights.
“I don’t get to pick who I fight,” Harrison said. “It’s not like I can create this super promotion of all these badass women and say ‘fight me.’ I can control what I can control, and that’s my performance. It is what it is.”
Harrison mainly has competed at 155 pounds, a division that’s non-existent in the UFC. The 30-year-old did have one fight outside of PFL in 2020, competing under the Invicta FC banner. There, she successfully made her featherweight debut by defeating Courtney King via second-round TKO. Featherweight is the heaviest women’s division in the UFC today.
Harrison’s PFL contract is set to expire at the end of the 2021 season. It’s unknown if she’ll re-sign with the promotion or go elsewhere.
She won her first fight of the year on May 6 at PFL 3. an easy first-round TKO of Mariana Morais.