Following her final contracted PFL fight this week, Harrison is set to become the most sought-after free agent in mixed martial arts. That’s despite only debuting in the sport in 2018. Following a successful career as a judoka, which saw the Ohio native claim two Olympic gold medals, one in London and one in Rio de Janeiro four years later, Harrison transitioned to MMA.
11 appearances later and the 31-year-old has an unblemished record that includes five knockouts and four submissions, a PFL Lightweight Championship and $1 million, and a firm base for becoming one of the greatest’s of all time. She’ll look to further establish her path to the top with a second title success this week.
With three first-round victories over Mariana Morais, Cindy Dandois, and Genah Fabian, Harrison has found herself in the women’s 155-pound PFL final for the second consecutive season. Her quest for another dose of glory will see Harrison clash with Taylor Guardado on Wednesday.
Aside from a sole victory under the banner of Invicta FC, Harrison’s entire professional career has been spent with the rapidly rising PFL promotion. However, her 11th fight with the organization will be the last on her current contract. Given her growing popularity and fanfare, many have suggested a move to either the UFC or Bellator MMA could be on the cards.
Despite that, Harrison isn’t ecstatic about the idea of free agency. The 31-year-old previously suggested the PFL would have to offer her an incredibly lucrative contract in order to keep her services for another season. It now seems the dominant American Top Team product has a number that could see her extend her PFL stay in mind.
Kayla Harrison Provides Update On Looming Free Agency
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, Harrison said she’d be willing to avoid the “uncertainty” of free agency if her demands are matched, especially now that she has a family to provide for.
“You know, I really haven’t given it a ton of thought. [Has becoming a mom impacted your thoughts on free agency?] I think yes, in the sense that now I have two kids, so… I have a number in my head that is okay, if I’m offered this number, I will choose security of that number over the uncertainty of free agency. [What number might that be?] It’s none of your business, that number,” Harrison jokingly replied.
Harrison went on to confirm that the number would be seven figures per fight. However, she insisted that her focus remains solely on defeating Guardado at PFL 10 on Wednesday.
“That’s it. I’m not really thinking about it any further than that. You know, I have a job to do here… my job isn’t finished, the work’s not done, I’m gonna go out there and instill my will one round at a time, one minute at a time, one exchange at a time, one breath at a time and I’m gonna make Taylor quit. That’s all I really think about and I know that the rest will work itself out. Anytime I’ve stressed about money, money has become a problem. But the moment that I take a step back, I release all of that negative energy and I just focus on what it is I’m supposed to do, the money comes. It’ll work out.”
With Dana White’s latest comments, it seems a move to the UFC won’t be on the table if Harrison commits to free agency. Given the PFL star’s recent feud with Cris Cyborg, perhaps a move to Bellator to challenge the former UFC champion will become the most likely move for Harrison. However, her manager Ali Abdelaziz remains confident a deal can be negotiated with the PFL.
Where would you like to see Kayla Harrison fighting after her final contracted PFL bout?