Kayla Harrison insists she’s still ready to fight Bellator Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg after their match fell apart earlier this year.
The two-time Professional Fighters League champion claims that during her recent stint in free agency, she agreed to fight Cyborg on April 22 in Hawaii.
In the end, the fight never happened as Harrison re-signed with PFL, who retained his services by matching Bellator’s contract offer, sabotaging plans for the superfight in the process.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist insists her foray into the free agency market had nothing to do with wanting to quit the PFL and everything to do with wanting to face the best competition – something which she still longs for.
“There was never a question of not wanting to stay with PFL,” Harrison told talkSPORT.
“I believe in the format. I believe that being a sport based on a meritocracy is the way to go. You put the fate of the fighter in their hands. I believe in equality and love everyone who works for the PFL.
“I’ve had nothing but a great experience with them. It was safer, time to test myself. Unfortunately, in the world of MMA, the top three female fighters all fight in different promotions. I said, ‘Hey, I have to go out there and try to get this.’
“It wasn’t personal, it was just business. I was offered to fight Cyborg on April 22 in Hawaii and I was prepared for it, I accepted. But PFL said: ‘Sorry Kayla, we love you too much’ [laughs]. And I agree with that. I also like the PFL.
Most read in MMA
McGregor told to avoid Chandler by UFC legend after battling Khabib
UFC fighter says social media star stole seats from family and watched porn in fight
Kayla Harrison sad to learn she was the reason Amanda Nunes left ATT
TO MIX TOGETHER
Fans point out mistake in former UFC star Paige VanZant’s ‘dumbest’ new tattoo
PFL announce first-ever UK shows as they head to London and Cardiff this summer
Shevchenko wants bantamweight title shot against Pena vs Nunes 2 winner
Cyborg is set to become a free agent this summer and Harrison is excited to see if the MMA legend will come to the PFL to fight with her.
“Now Cyborg is going to be a free agent, she talks a lot so let’s see if she puts her money where her mouth is,” she said.
Harrison added that PFL is ready to work with Bellator on a co-promotion for what would be one of the biggest fights in WMMA history.
“I know PFL and I’m ready,” she said. “The United States, London, the moon – wherever they want it to happen, we are ready to do it.
“But I have a tough season ahead of me. I’ve had three tougher fights. I have to stay focused on that and we’ll see what happens after that.
The 31-year-old got her 2022 PFL season off to a good start earlier this month when she picked up a unanimous decision victory over Marina Mokhnatkina to take her perfect MMA record to 13-0.