PFL champ Kayla Harrison finds Amanda Nunes fight talk ‘a little annoying’

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John Morgan
·4 min read
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PFL 2019 women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison isn’t ruling out the potential that she might one day face Amanda Nunes in a cage, but until then, she’d prefer not to talk about the possibility.

The two American Top Team fighters have been the subject of fantasy matchmaking in recent years, as Harrison has embarked on her undefeated MMA career and Nunes has solidified herself as the greatest female fighter of all-time. Neither fighter has completely ruled out the possibility at some point, but Harrison said she was a little frustrated when she heard her name mentioned at Nunes’ post-fight media address following her UFC 259 win over Megan Anderson.

“I feel like, goddamn – she just won,” Harrison told MMA Junkie. “Like, literally just won. Give her a second to breathe.”

To be clear, any talk of the matchup is pure speculation, anyway. After all, Harrison (8-0) is set to soon embark on the PFL’s 2021 campaign in hopes of another season championship and another $1 million prize. Meanwhile, Nunes (21-4 MMA, 14-1 UFC) is a reigning two-division champion in the UFC and doesn’t seem interested in going anywhere else anytime soon.

Plus, Harrison said, she happens to like Nunes quite a bit, as well as her wife, Nina Ansaroff.

“We’re teammates, so of course I don’t want it to be weird at the gym,” Harrison said. “I really like Amanda. I really like Nina. Again, she inspires me. Nina inspires me. Nina is back in the gym like three months after popping out a baby, and she’s kicking ass, and I’m like, What the … ?’ I was like, ‘I really didn’t want to come train today, but now I do, Nina. Thank you.’

“So, I mean it’s just a little annoying because of that, but again, what am I supposed to say? Of course I aspire to be like her. I aspire to be that, so it’s an honor to have my name thrown into the ring. It’s an honor for people to say that, but all in due time.”

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If the matchup ever does come to fruition, Harrison says their shared training facility doesn’t necessarily present an issue. After all, Harrison said she actually trained with French judoka Audrey Tcheumeo a month before the 2016 Olympic Games – where she defeated Tcheumeo in the tournament finals to win the gold medal.

Unlike the ugly rivalry between Jorge Masvidal and Colby Covington that caused real friction at American Top Team, Harrison said if the two do eventually find themselves booked against each other, it doesn’t have to be anything other than a fantastic sporting event.

“At the end of the day, when you step on the mat, it’s your job to go out there and find a way to win,” Harrison said. “So for me, it’s the same thing she said: It’s not personal, it’s business, and if our paths cross, our paths cross.

“It doesn’t have to be nasty. It could just be a beautiful display of sport, and then sportsmanship, you know? We could just go out there and put on a full display of our skills. May the best woman win. It could just be that.”

But for now, Harrison said the talk simply isn’t worth exploring. Each of the elite athletes has their own journey to follow for the time being. Someday, maybe it could happen. Until then, she’d prefer not to hear the question again.

“I still have my PFL contract,” Harrison said. “She has wiped out the entire featherweight division, but there should be somebody in the bantamweight division that she could go murder. But you know, we’ll get there when we get there, and if we do, I really, really hope that we do it with a lot of mutual respect in the realm of good sportsmanship.”

To hear the full interview with Harrison, check out the video below.