Article by Safeer MS,
Kayla Harrison, the two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion, signed with the UFC. Dana White announced the news via social media. Harrison, a two-time Olympic Judoka, was the face of the PFL and had one of the highest-paid female athletes in MMA. PFL recently acquired Bellator MMA and now has a roster that could give the UFC a run for their money. The move by Harrison comes weeks before the PFL vs. Bellator card in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.
Harrison will be making her UFC debut against Holly Holm at UFC 300 as per Dana White. Holm, a former UFC bantamweight champion and women’s boxing Hall of Famer is one of the biggest names in the UFC’s female divisions. Holm became the champion as a betting underdog at UFC 193 when she knocked out Ronda Rousey but lost to Miesha Tate in her next fight. She also fought for the featherweight title but lost a closely contested fight against Cris Cyborg.
Harrison was rumored to sign with the UFC in late 2021 and face Amanda Nunes, her training partner at American Top Team. Unfortunately for Harrison, Nunes suffered an upset loss to Julianna Peña at UFC 269 in December of 2021. Harrison was cage-side for the event and her disappointment was caught on camera. Nunes would then split up with the American Top Team and reclaim the title from Peña before her retirement at UFC 289.
Harrison has a sole loss in her professional MMA career; a unanimous decision loss to Larrissa Pacheco at the 2022 PFL Women’s Lightweight Tournament Final. Her latest fight was against Aspen Ladd at PFL 10 2023 which she won by unanimous decision in a three-round affair. Ladd previously fought in the UFC where she went 4-3.