UFC President Dana White may not be as hesitant about signing Kayla Harrison as he previously appeared.
On Wednesday during a video interview with Big Night Breaks, White was asked about the Season 2 PFL champ, who’s trying for a third tournament win and opened the season with a dominant win over Mariana Morais.
“Yeah, I know her contract’s up soon,” White said. “I don’t know if she’s ready to come over here yet, or her people feel she’s ready to come over here yet, but when she is, we’re ready.”
It was a more optimistic take than an earlier one White offered when asked about the possibility of acquiring Harrison when she becomes a free agent.
“I don’t know if she’s ready,” White told 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.”
White cited a bevy of top-tier fighters that could potentially challenge Harrison and added, “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 wasn’t altogether pleased to hear White had reservations about her ability to compete in the octagon.
“I think that if Dana is ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money,” Harrison told ESPN. “I have stated many times, I’m ready to face the best in the world.”
Of course, Harrison remains under contract with the PFL. Until she reaches free agency, any conversation about her future in fighting is a moot point. Harrison has repeatedly expressed support for the PFL, though she admitted to disappointment over the delay to restarting its schedule due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unlike many other PFL athletes, she was able to take a fight in an outside promotion, earning a quick stoppage in the all-female Invicta FC.
Harrison’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, on Wednesday told MMA Fighting that the 155-pound champ will reassess her situation at the end of PFL’s third season. Until then, she will focus on winning the title a second time.
“Nothing else matters,” he said. “She’s a PFL fighter. I have to promote PFL. I love Dana, but she’s a PFL fighter. She has to win the season, and we’re going to talk to PFL and everybody. PFL gave her an opportunity when she was nobody. They have say over what Kayla’s going to do, also. It’s not me and her. It’s all of us.”