Monday, May 16, 2022

Kayla Harrison’s Coach Wants To See Her Face Stiffer Competition

American Top Team coach Mike Brown wants Kayla Harrison to take the next steps in her professional MMA career.

Harrison is still contemplating her next career move in her first experience in MMA free agency. She is coming off of back-to-back lightweight title-winning seasons in the PFL and has hinted at moving up to promotions such as Bellator and the UFC.

MMA journalist Ariel Helwani recently reported that the PFL has matched Bellator’s offer to sign Harrison and that she could re-sign with the PFL within the next few days. However, nothing has been made official by Harrison and her camp.

Harrison has attended Bellator and UFC events over the past few months as she decides on her next move in MMA. She won the 2021 PFL lightweight title over Taylor Guardado after a dominant regular season.

During a recent interview with Helwani on The MMA Hour, Brown gave his thoughts on whether or not Harrison should move on to another promotion.

“I think it’s time,” Brown said. “I mean, I’m happy wherever she goes. I think they’ll bring talent to her in the PFL…I know she wants big challenges. She wants big fights, she’s ready to challenge herself, she really wants that. I thought we’ve been in a great spot. She was learning MMA in a major promotion, having zero fights and you’re already fighting in a major promotion like PFL. It’s good money, you’re getting decent competition.

Brown went on to point out that Harrison’s journey to MMA stardom has been faster and more unique than most professional athletes.

“It’s not always the norm for most pro fighters. Maybe they fight some amateur fights, then go on to a little bit tougher competition. From her first fight that she’s ever had, she’s in the PFL. Obviously, she’s a special athlete, but it’s not easy to do. She’s been learning, developing, and honing her skills and trying new skills, experimenting and seeing what works and doesn’t work in combat.

Kayla Harrison
Photo by Dave Mandel/Invicta FC

“Now she’s over 10 fights experience and three or four years in, and I think she’s ready to make big challenges now. She wants to fight everybody and honestly, we’ve been holding her back. She’s been saying for about a year and a half or so, ‘ I want ’em all, I want to fight the best. I don’t want to do this, I want to show that I’m the best.’ We’ve told her to take her time, but it’s not what she necessarily wants. I think we’re coming to that point now that it’s going to happen.”

Harrison was in attendance to watch Bellator featherweight champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino earn a first-round knockout in her latest defense at Bellator 271. Harrison was also linked to a matchup with Amanda Nunes before Nunes lost to Julianna Peña at UFC 269.

Harrison’s free agency could be coming to a close as soon as this week, much to her preference. She’ll remain one of the biggest names in women’s MMA in 2022 regardless of what she chooses to do.

Where do you think Kayla Harrison will sign in free agency?

Related Articles
Related Articles