Harrison lost to Larissa Pacheco via unanimous decision at the 2022 PFL Championships this past weekend in New York City. It was the first loss of her MMA career after breezing past her competition with 15 consecutive wins, including recent victories over Kaitlin Young and Marina Mokhnatkina.
Harrison’s loss is one of the most stunning MMA defeats in recent years. Leading up to the fight, she was seen as nearly unstoppable in the PFL, especially after two previous wins over Pacheco.
Masvidal, Harrison’s longtime teammate at American Top Team, was just as stunned as most fans, pundits, and fellow fighters who watched the action.
Jorge Masvidal Gives His Thoughts On Kayla Harrison’s Upset Loss
During a recent interview with MMA Fighting, Masvidal gave his thoughts on Harrison’s first career loss.
“A big part of me is stunned, but a big part of me is like, this is the third time you’ve fought that girl,” Masvidal said of Harrison. “It wasn’t like, no upset. She already beat her twice very convincingly. I don’t wanna take anything from this girl away, obviously. Pacheco is a stud… To beat somebody that’s beaten you twice, you have to go through a lot of mental adversity and stuff like that.
“As far as Kayla… Her beating her a third time maybe wasn’t as motivating. I still walk away thinking Kayla’s the better fighter, but it just wasn’t her night. She just wasn’t as on it as she needed to be. But it’s still debatable that she won, because she was on top, she was controlling. She wasn’t doing damage, but other (judges) would’ve just gave it to her for being on top… I’m biased, right… I think some could say she won that round (five)… I still think it was a great fight, a close fight.”
Jorge Masvidal Feels “Biggest Fights” Should Be Next For Kayla Harrison
Masvidal then gave his thoughts on what Harrison’s next move should be in MMA.
“I wanna see her involved in the biggest fights. I don’t wanna diss Pacheco… but I do wanna see Kayla — obviously, she’s coming off a loss. But I don’t really think it hurts her getting a fight with the big girls in the sport,” Masvidal said. “Kayla Harrison versus Brazil’s finest for that Bellator strap or something like that…. I just wanna see Kayla involved in big fights really.”
The fight that Masvidal is referring to is with Bellator Women’s Featherweight Champion Cris Cyborg, who has been in casual talks to face Harrison for months. The two of them were close to squaring off after Bellator offered Harrison a lucrative contract during her free agency.
Harrison has admitted that this was her last year in PFL’s season format, although it remains to be seen if she’ll follow through on that promise. The PFL will launch its pay-per-view division next year and a fight with Cyborg could lead its way.
Meanwhile, Harrison has the support of her ATT family as she deals with the loss and attempts to work her way back into the upper echelon of the sport.
Please provide transcription credit with a link to this article if you use any of these quotes.