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Two-time PFL winner Kayla Harrison unsure of next move, but mentally ready for whatever it is

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HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – After winning her second $1 million PFL title, Kayla Harrison will officially head into free agency unsure of what her next move is.

Harrison (12-0) stayed perfect with a second-round armbar submission of Taylor Guardado (3-2) on Wednesday to win another women’s lightweight title. She was a heavy favorite in the fight, and the two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo backed it up with yet another dominant performance.

But it was the last fight on her PFL deal, and now the speculation will be on whether she’ll return to the promotion or move on to another organization. A move to the UFC or Bellator, for example, would mean a move down to 145 pounds.


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“I think right now … I don’t know,” Harrison told MMA Junkie after her win. “I have a lot of thinking to do. I have a lot of options. I have a lot to process. I’m happy with the PFL. I love the PFL. I think they’re a great organization. I feel like if we hadn’t taken that year off (for COVID-19), I’d probably love them a lot more. They’re doing all the right things. I believe in the format. We’ll see what happens.”

Harrison has spent her entire career with the PFL, save for a lone one-off fight for Invicta FC in November 2020. That bout was at featherweight and came during the year the PFL shut down entirely due to the pandemic.

She won the promotion’s first women’s lightweight season in 2019 with a decision over Larissa Pacheco, whom she beat earlier in the season. Pacheco is the only fighter Harrison hasn’t finished. She holds unanimous decision wins over her in both their meetings.

Harrison said her focus now will be to continue training and essentially be ready for whatever decision she winds up making. But she said she’s been warned that her continued success is something she needs to be prepared for.

“I just want to go train and live my life,” Harrison said. “I love what I do, and I love who I do it with. But everyone around me says that it’s starting to build, and I better get ready for that. So I’m starting to mentally prepare. Whatever happens happens, and I’ll meet it when it does. For now, I just won. I’m undefeated still. I won in pretty dominant fashion. My family got to be here. Everyone’s healthy. Everyone’s safe. Life is good.”

Check out the complete conversation with Harrison in the video above.


Twitter reacts to Kayla Harrison's dominant $1 million title win at 2021 PFL Championship