Kayla Harrison pocketed three points and kept her unblemished record in tact Friday, but she wasn’t pleased with her performance.
Over the course of three rounds, Harrison (13-0) cruised to a win over former Bellator fighter Marina Mokhnatkina (6-3) via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 29-27). The bout served as the 2022 PFL 3 main event, which took place at Esports Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
From start to finish, Harrison controlled position whether on the feet or on the mat, with the exception of some brief leg submission threats from Mokhnatkina, a former Bellator fighter. Despite her control, Harrison was not able to muster up much damage, nor threaten with any significant submission attempts.
After the decision reading, Harrison gave in-cage interviewer and former UFC fighter Sean O’Connell a brutal self-assessment of her 2022 season debut.
“I think it was utter dog crap,” Harrison said. “Sorry to the fans. I wanted to put on a better show for you. Sometimes, these girls are tougher than you think. I make it look easy sometimes, but other nights, not so much. My hat goes off to Marina. She’s a game opponent, very tough, very skilled. I wish her the best of luck in the upcoming season. Thank you guys for coming out and tuning in. I appreciate it. … You have to take everything with a grain of salt. This is a learning experience. I’m still young in my career. The more time I get in the cage, the better I’m going to get. I’m ready for the next one.”
The fight for Harrison was her first since a spotlighted free agency over the off-season. After talks with the UFC and Bellator, Harrison ultimately returned to PFL. She recently revealed on The MMA Hour that she initially signed with Bellator, but PFL had matching rights and ultimately obtained her services that way.
Since her professional MMA debut in 2018, Harrison has won all 13 fights including five TKOs, five submission, three decisions, and two $1 million championships. Her second fight of the 2022 PFL season is expected for July 1 against a yet-to-be-designated opponent.