While the past six months have seen new stories and headlines develop, one constant point of discussion has been the future of Harrison.
Following her victory over Taylor Guardado in October, a triumph that extended her unbeaten record to 12-0 and secured her second consecutive PFL lightweight championship, the Ohio native entered the uncertain waters of free agency.
But after back and forth rumors, changes, and appearances at various promotions, it was announced last week that Harrison had signed a multi-year deal and would be staying put in the PFL cage.
Despite the final weeks of her free agency suggesting either a signing with Bellator or another stint with PFL, Harrison recently revealed she had positive discussions with the UFC.
Harrison Also Received ‘First-Of-Its-Kind’ Offer From UFC
In the aftermath of her signing, both Harrison and her manager Ali Abdelaziz have boasted about the special nature of her contract, which Abdelaziz claims makes her the highest-paid female mixed martial artist of all time.
As it turns out, that wasn’t the only special deal on her table.
During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, Harrison detailed the negotiations that took place between her team and the UFC, revealing that the Dana White-led promotion also sent a ‘first-of-its-kind’ deal her way.
“There were good interactions (with the UFC). It was a great deal (that they offered). And I think, again, I was very pleased to hear that it’s an offer that hasn’t really happened before,” said Harrison.
Ultimately, the 31-year-old cited different guarantees and timing as the reasons why the UFC’s offer wasn’t further assessed.
“But I think that the guarantee is a little bit different. I don’t really know how to say this. It was a great offer, but getting into all the moving parts, getting into behind the scenes, getting into all the little things that people may not understand or know about—it didn’t make sense and the timing wasn’t right. And also, it didn’t matter because PFL would’ve matched that one,” Harrison concluded.
For now, at least, fans will continue seeing Harrison in the PFL. While she plans on making a run for her third straight championship in this year’s season, the former judoka is targeting big fights in 2023.
If she continues running through her competition, it remains possible that the 31-year-old will eventually enter the Octagon or mix it up with rival Cris Cyborg over in Bellator.
Who would you have liked to see Kayla Harrison put pen-to-paper with? Are you happy to see her back in the PFL?