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Morning Report: Kayla Harrison, PFL welcome co-promotion for Cris Cyborg superfight: ‘We’re going to make this fight happen’

Kayla Harrison
Drake Riggs

Kayla Harrison is staying put in the PFL.

However, that doesn’t mean we won’t see dramatic changes in the two-time Olympic gold medalist’s competition — at least for a fight or two.

The biggest knock on Harrison’s perfect 12-0 run in MMA to this point has been that her opponents simply haven’t been on her level. As indicated by her record, that has been proven true as 10 of her 11 different foes have all been on the receiving end of a one-sided beating resulting in a finish. That lone one managing to survive — on two separate occasions — was Brazil’s Larissa Pacheco.

But when it comes to the biggest and baddest Brazilian hurdles Harrison can clear, those come in the form of UFC champion Amanda Nunes and Bellator champion Cris Cyborg. Things never appeared to get too serious when it came to Harrison jumping to the UFC in her free agency. Bellator, on the other hand, made a serious push that saw their offer matched by the PFL leading the judoka back to the smart cage.

“I really feel like that’s a fight that with Kayla right now... I don’t know who she’s gonna fight over there,” Bellator President Scott Coker told MMA Junkie Radio in reference to Harrison vs. Cyborg. “She’s gotta fight the girls that are the dominant girls in that weight class. [Those are] Cyborg, to me, the greatest female fighter of all time, Amanda Nunes, and then Kayla. And Kayla, she’s growing, she’s doing very well, but she’s gotta fight somebody to really showcase that she has that ability to fight at that elite level. That’s why we made a run because Cris Cyborg’s like, ‘Look, I’ll fight anybody. Let’s get it on.’ We said, ‘Hey, that’d be a fun fight to promote.’

“Listen, it didn’t work out. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. Good for them but we’re gonna move forward with our business.”

Despite Bellator missing out on the exclusivity of having Harrison on their roster, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they can’t still come to an agreement while they have Cyborg around. Though, the Bellator featherweight queen’s time with the promotion very well could be ticking away as well as the all-time great revealed recently that her contract expires in the summer.

Bellator has notoriously been known to play well with others around the globe. The most notable partnership is with Japan’s RIZIN Fighting Federation whom Bellator has exchanged several fighters with since around 2018. Other promotions such as KSW and Invicta FC have also worked with the organization.

“Me personally, I don’t think that’s an issue,” PFL President Ray Sefo told Fight Nation of co-promoting with Bellator. “I know that Scott has done a few co-promotion stuff with other promotions. He’s a good friend of mine, nothing but love and respect for Scott. Anything is possible, I think it’s just a matter of the two teams sitting down at a table and making sure that it works for everybody.

“It’s very possible a superfight could happen at the end of this year but it could also happen early next year. All these things are very possible.”

As for Harrison, it was admittedly a frustrating process to go through as her drive to be the absolute best in the world is very much still present. In a perfect world, she’ll get that opportunity along with getting compensated better than she would have elsewhere.

“When I talked to [PFL Founder] Donn [Davis], and one of the things that really sort of put my worries about my legacy to rest, was he was like, ‘Listen, ‘I don’t care if we have to do this on the moon, I don’t care if we have to cross-promote, co-promote, we’re going to make this fight happen. This is the fight to make happen,’” Harrison told The Underground. “I was like, ‘Well, hell yeah, it is. Let’s go.’”


Critique. Michael Bisping criticizes lack of corner stoppage in MMA.

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Guilt. Jalin Turner felt guilty helping Michael Bisping train for Anderson Silva fight.


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Eagle FC just isn’t doing it for me. It’s 2022 and names like Thiago Silva are being brought back for co-main events. But hey, this is coming from a guy who is most invested in Deep Jewels 36 this weekend so maybe I’m not quite the right target audience.

Thanks for reading and enjoy the weekend!



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