Kayla Harrison Responds To Cyborg’s Demands: ‘I Don’t Do This For Money’

Two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison has responded to Bellator titleholder Cris Cyborg‘s lopsided fight offer by providing a reminder of where her priorities lie.

Last month, one of the biggest mixed martial arts shocks of the year occurred when the previously dominant and undefeated Harrison had her record blemished by Larissa Pacheco at this year’s PFL World Championship.

Having previously defeated the Brazilian on two occasions, most were expecting Harrison to add Pacheco’s name to her résumé’s win column for a third time. But across five rounds, the 28-year-old upset sizeable odds to have her hand raised and the lightweight gold added to her possession.

Despite the defeat, the ball doesn’t appear to have stopped rolling with regards to some big fights in Harrison’s future, and that includes a much-discussed showdown with Bellator MMA’s featherweight queen, Cyborg.

In the aftermath of PFL’s final 2022 card, co-founder Donn Davis once again looked to negotiate a date in the cage between his promotion’s leading name and one of the best females to ever do it in MMA.

After he put up $1 million to each fighter and double that as a win bonus, as well as a Rolls-Royce, Cyborg responded by appearing to demand an 80% split of the purse.

On paper, the 20% number seems like one that the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s team, featuring manager Ali Abdelaziz, would no doubt be looking to heavily increase. But for Harrison herself, it’s not about the money.

Harrison’s Focus Is On Fighting, Not Negotiating

During a recent interview with ESPN MMA’s Marc Raimondi, Harrison was asked for her response to Cyborg’s demands.

After reiterating that she’s still massively interested in sharing the cage with Cyborg, the 32-year-old Ohio native suggested that she’s not bothered by the lopsided purse split, insisting that she competes for her love of the sport, not remuneration.

“I would love for that (fight) to happen. She knows that I would love for that to happen,” Harrison said. “I would definitely love to fight Cyborg, Rolls-Royce or no Rolls-Royce. I don’t do this for the money, I don’t do it for fancy cars. I actually do really love what I do… It means a lot for me.

“I mean, I don’t care (about the purse split). I don’t do this for money. Obviously, Ali would murder me. I have to take care of my family. That’s for my managerial team to figure out,” Harrison added. “I’m just a fighter, I don’t crunch numbers.”

Ever since Harrison’s rise to stardom in mixed martial arts and frequent dominant displays inside PFL’s SmartCage, a possible clash with Cyborg has been on the table. And when Harrison ventured into free agency following the 2021 season, it appeared that a signing with Bellator was set to make the matchup a real possibility.

With the PFL ultimately matching Bellator’s offer, Harrison stayed put in search of a third championship in the promotion. But despite remaining under different banners, that hasn’t stopped both women from trading barbs on social media and during interviews, firmly keeping the intrigue behind a possible showdown alive.

How do you think a fight between Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg would play out?

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