The free agency tour for reigning PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison appears to be nearing an end, with a decision on her fighting future soon to be announced. Ariel Helwani reported on his Substack account on Tuesday that a deal for Harrison to return to the Professional Fighters League in 2022 is all but a “done deal” after a few months of a free agency tour that saw her speak with the UFC, Bellator, and PFL.
Last week PFL CEO Peter Murray spoke with South China Morning Post and expressed optimism that the promotion would keep Kayla Harrison with them, despite strong pushes from both the UFC and Bellator bosses Dana White and Scott Coker. Both White and Coker left the door open for Harrison to join their respective promotions and calling for her to step up to what they feel would be the next stage of her career.
As Helwani’s report stated, despite the big pushes from the other top promotions in the sport, Harrison is expected to re-sign with PFL, where she is a two-time season champion, winning their $1 million championship tournaments in both 2019 and 2021. The report would say however that a deal is not done just yet, but PFL is atop the leaderboard for Harrison’s services.
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 18, 2022
Undefeated in her professional fighting career at 12-0, Kayla Harrison has run through all competition since joining the PFL and she also has had a one-fight stint with Invicta FC in 2020. During her free agency tour, there was plenty of talk about two potential super fights for Harrison, depending on where she signed, potentially facing Cris Cyborg in Bellator, or facing American Top Team teammate, Amanda Nunes in the UFC. After Nunes lost the bantamweight title to Julianna Peña at UFC 269, it likely changed the path for a potential meeting between Harrison and Nunes.
With two championship tournament victories to her credit and also winning $1 million each time she’s won the tournament if Kayla Harrison returns to the PFL she will undoubtedly be one of their biggest stars, if not the biggest star. She’s also likely to be the favorite in nearly every future fight in the PFL, although promotional newcomer and former Bellator champion Julia Budd recently stated she believes Harrison should re-sign with the promotion. A matchup between Budd and Harrison could be one of the best fights for PFL to make, should Harrison indeed decide to re-sign in the promotion she’s found so much success in.
Mike Pendleton is a current contributor to MyMMANews while also hosting his “On The Mic” podcast and is a former Associate Producer at Sirius XM’s Fight Nation.
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