Kayla Harrison Unmotivated by $1 Million Prize Headed into PFL Season

Kayla Harrison
Image Credit: Ryan Loco/PFL

Kayla Harrison will be taking part in the second season of the Professional Fighters League (PFL) when she participates in the featherweight division’s competition, which kicks off on May 23. Harrison will be facing the undefeated Svetlana Khautova in her first matchup on her way to potentially claiming the grand prize at the end of the competition: $1 million. The $1 million cashout offered for PFL winners is clearly a major perk to sign up with the promotion, but for Kayla Harrison, her participation in the competition is not about the money:

“I was never motivated by money,” Harrison told MMA Junkie. “Especially when you come from an Olympic background, you don’t do it to be famous, you don’t do it to be rich – you literally do it because you want to stand on top of a podium and have an object placed around your neck. You want to be known as the best in the world at what you do.

“I’m not motivated by money. I’m not even motivated by anything outside. I’m motivated by I want to wake up every day and be the best possible version of myself.”

The most powerful motivator for Kayla Harrison is not the almighty dollar. She is driven by something much bigger:

“This is my calling and this is my purpose in life, and it’s going to give me this amazing platform to not only internally fulfill my purpose, but also change the world the way that I want to change the world,” Harrison said. “That’s motivation enough. I want to be the best. That’s it. I want people to be like, ‘Holy (expletive), she’s a beast, she’s a monster – but she’s also awesome.”

It is this attitude, not to mention a well-decorated and Olympic Judo background, that may catapult Kayla Harrison to the $1 million, whether it is her primary motivator or not. But if she arrives at the finish line of this competition victorious, it will be a byproduct of chasing something more lasting than money:

“I’m just chasing legacy,” Harrison said. “I’m just chasing the best Kayla. I’m not chasing anybody or anything. I just want to be the best Kayla.”

Do you believe Kayla Harrison will win the featherweight competition in the second season of the PFL?