Two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison smashed her way to a 9-0 record last week as she demolished yet another opponent in the PFL.
Already a past champion at 155 pounds, Harrison is now seeking her second straight season title with the promotion, which would also earn her another $1 million prize to add to her bank account. Following the lopsided win over Mariana Morais last week, Harrison proclaimed “I’m the baddest woman in this room and in any room.”
While she still has at least three more fights to go this year with PFL at lightweight, Harrison could potentially end up as one of the last true challenges remaining at featherweight for reigning UFC champion Amanda Nunes.
Over the past few years, Nunes has laid waste to every contender she’s faced at both bantamweight and featherweight while arguably attaining the title as the greatest women’s fighter in the history of the sport. In fact, Nunes also trains alongside Harrison with both fighters working under head coach Mike Brown at American Top Team in Florida.
That said, Harrison seems to be one of the only obstacles Nunes hasn’t already cleared but it appears UFC president Dana White is a little more hesitant to crown her as a true threat to his two-division champion just yet.
“I don’t know if she’s ready,” White said about Harrison when speaking to TSN. “I mean, when she feels like she’s ready, I’m always looking for the best possible people to come in and fight. If you don’t think that we’ve offered her to come over. I just don’t know if her people think she’s ready yet. It’s a whole other level when you get here.”
Now to be clear, Harrison has been contracted with the PFL ever since she won her second Olympic gold medal and based on her history with the promotion, she’s never truly reached free agency previously in order to actually open negotiations with the UFC.
Still, White is adamant that Harrison might need a little more seasoning before she tries to tackle the best of the best inside the octagon.
“Amanda, Germaine [de Randamie], Holly [Holm] Aspen Ladd, you’ve got Julianna Pena, the list goes on and on,” White said. “It’s a lot tougher when you come over here. So I don’t know if they think she’s ready or not, but we’ll find out.”
Harrison has made it clear that her end goal is to be considered the greatest of all time, which might require her to tackle the opposition in the UFC to earn that moniker.
For now, Harrison will continue down the path towards another $1 million prize with PFL and then perhaps she’ll get her opportunity to prove to White that she’s ready for UFC competition.