Ali Abdelaziz Reacts To Kayla Harrison’s First MMA Loss

Ali Abdelaziz is expecting two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion, Kayla Harrison, to bounce back in a big way after her first loss.

Harrison lost to Larissa Pacheco at the 2022 PFL Championships in one of the biggest upsets in MMA history. Entering the third fight with Pacheco, she won her previous 15 fights with relative ease.

Many in Harrison’s inner circle have given their thoughts on her loss and where she goes from here. That includes Jorge Masvidal, who expects Harrison to come back with a vengeance once she’s ready to return.

One of the most outspoken supporters of Harrison is her manager, Abdelaziz, who threatened to leave MMA last year if Harrison ever lost. Not only is Abdelaziz not willing to follow through on this promise, but he’s also assuring fans that the best is yet to come for the former Olympic gold medalist.

Ali Abdelaziz On Kayla Harrison: “Still The Best Female Fighter On The Planet”

PFL

During a recent interview with The Schmo, Abdelaziz gave his thoughts on where Harrison goes from here.

“PFL been great for Kayla, been great to us,” Abdelaziz said. “The relationship keeps going. I think now…. she made some mistakes. The best thing that happened to Kayla is losing some time. Sometimes you need to put different things in your arsenal. I think that it was Larissa’s night, it wasn’t Kayla’s night.

“Kayla lost off of the mistakes she did. I don’t think Larissa did anything special, I just think she was stronger, bigger, and she countered a lot of stuff Kayla was doing…I think Kayla got some of the best coaches in the world. Marco, Mike Brown, they’re going to go to the kitchen and cook some things up.

“I’m sure these two will fight again,” Abdelaziz continued on Harrison/Pacheco. “I’d personally like to see Kayla fight at 145 for her next fight. I think this is her weight class, she doesn’t cut any weight to 155. We saw in Invicta that she can make 145 with room. This is what should happen next, but Kayla’s her own boss sometimes and she’s very opinionated. Whatever Kayla chooses to do, I’m gonna go to war with Kayla. Whatever she wants, I’m always there.”

Abdelaziz then expanded on his thoughts when it comes to Harrison’s immediate MMA future and her return to the cage.

“She can still be a 55er and smash everybody in the world,” Abdelaziz said of Harrison. “I still believe she’s the best female fighter on the planet. I think this close decision doesn’t define who Kayla is. Anybody who knows Kayla…one of the things we see fighters in the past take an ass whopping, and we never see them again. Kayla, she can be the hammer, she can be the nail, and she’s not a quitter. We’ll see the best Kayla ever next time in the cage. PFL better have some extra medical insurance because Kayla’s gonna hurt somebody.”

Despite her first MMA setback, Abdelaziz will likely have plenty of work to do for Harrison’s next fight. She’s been linked to a cross-promotion fight with Cris Cyborg over the past two years and also is open to facing former teammate Amanda Nunes.

Harrison doesn’t intend on returning to the PFL season format following the loss to Pacheco. However, the fourth fight with Pacheco could potentially take place in the league’s pay-per-view division next year.

Abdelaziz doesn’t shy away from the spotlight and feels it’s only a matter of time before Harrison has a triumphant return to the sport she has dominated since her debut.

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