The hottest free agent in MMA has chosen her home for 2022. And it’s the same as her previous home.
Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic judo champion, has re-signed with PFL, ESPN has confirmed. Bellator made her a lucrative offer earlier this year, but PFL had the right to match any offer and did so. Harrison is a two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion and will look to three-peat this year as part of the promotion’s season structure.
ESPN has Harrison tied for No. 7 on its women’s MMA pound-for-pound list. She has finished her past five fights and 10 of her 12 victories. Harrison’s decision — and seeing where she would end up — was highly anticipated by fans and promotions.
Sources said that the UFC made an offer but that it wasn’t in the same ballpark as the ones tendered by PFL and Bellator. At one point in the process, sources said, Harrison was fully expecting to sign with Bellator and fight Cris Cyborg as early as next month. But PFL ended up matching the Bellator offer in late February.
Harrison (12-0) beat Taylor Guardado via second-round submission to win her second PFL women’s lightweight title last October. The Ohio native, who lives and trains in Florida at American Top Team, has fought in PFL since her MMA debut in June 2018, with one fight during that span with Invicta FC. Harrison, 31, has said her goal is to become the greatest women’s MMA fighter of all time.