Kayla Harrison is staying with the PFL.
The league announced Tuesday that Harrison — currently No. 7 in MMA Fighting’s Pound-for-Pound rankings — has re-signed with the PFL on a multi-year contract extension. Ariel Helwani was first to report that the PFL had matched an offer made by Bellator.
Surprise Surprise… The Queen is Back— PFL (@PFLMMA) March 8, 2022
Harrison originally signed with the PFL in 2016 when it was still known as the World Series of Fighting. The league retained the right to match any offer, which it has exercised to keep Harrison on its roster for the foreseeable future.
In her two seasons with the PFL, Harrison — a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo — has amassed an 11-0 record and won lightweight championship tournaments and their accompanying $1 million prizes in 2019 and 2021 (the 2020 season was canceled due to the outbreak of COVID-19). She also holds a win at featherweight in her lone appearance for Invicta FC.
Harrison said Monday on The MMA Hour that while she initially enjoyed the process of free agency, she was beginning to grow frustrated and worried that “my window of opportunity to fight these girls is slowly closing.”
However, despite potentially missing out the chance to fight Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg or UFC featherweight champion Amanda Nunes, Harrison did not state a preference as to where she was planning to sign.
“I really do just want to be the best,” Harrison said. “I really do have an internal desire to test myself and to push myself to the highest limits I can go. I just want to make sure that I keep doing that and I keep pushing myself to do that. I know that I’m not there yet.
“I don’t call myself the greatest. I don’t say I’m the greatest. I don’t think I’m the greatest but I want to be. I want to fight the greatest. So obviously from October until now is a long layoff and it feels like a long layoff and it feels like it’s been a lifetime. I’m thankful that it’s almost over and I’m ready to get back in the cage and keep getting better and do what I love.”
The 2022 PFL season begins in April.