PFL’s Harrison critical of win but stays undefeated

MMA news

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison is a notoriously harsh critic of her own performances, and that trend continued once again on Friday.

Harrison (13-0) extended her undefeated record with a dominant unanimous decision over Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2) inside the Esports Stadium Arlington in Texas.

In doing so, Harrison kicked off her 2022 lightweight season with three points — but she wasn’t entirely happy.

Although the bout was one-sided — judges scored it for Harrison via scores of 30-26, 30-27 and 29-27 — it was not nearly as definitive as the majority of Harrison’s performances in MMA. Her physical presence was obvious in the bout, but she struggled to threaten Mokhnatkina with a finish and looked fatigued in the final round.

“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.”

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, Harrison has walked through the majority of her MMA competition and was a prized free agent following her PFL season victory in 2021. She fielded offers from multiple organizations before ultimately landing back in the PFL on a lucrative deal.

Despite Harrison’s disappointment, she will go into her second regular-season bout in a four-way tie for second place. Larissa Pacheco (16-4) earned six points with a first-place finish on Friday, while Martina Jindrova, Olena Kolesnyk and Genah Fabian each tied Harrison with three-point decision wins.

Beyond Harrison, two of PFL’s top names scored impressive victories on Friday. Lightweight Anthony Pettis (25-12) submitted Myles Price in the first round and welterweight Rory MacDonald (23-8) submitted Brett Cooper in the opening round with a rear-naked choke. Both Pettis and MacDonald surged to the top of their division’s standings with the win.

The night’s biggest upset came in the co-main event, as 2021 champion Ray Cooper (24-8-1) suffered a surprising defeat to Carlos Leal by unanimous decision.

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