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Kayla Harrison issues challenge to Cris Cyborg: ‘If you’re not scared and you’re not running, come fight me here’

Kayla Harrison is getting tired of all the talk about Cris Cyborg.

For nearly a year, the MMA world has been abuzz with talk of a potential superfight between the two-time Olympic gold medalist and Bellator’s current featherweight champion, with things reaching a fever pitch at the end of 2021 when Harrison’s contract with the PFL expired. After a tumultuous free agency that saw Harrison court offers from multiple organizations, in the end, the PFL exercised its right to match and retained the services of Harrison for the foreseeable future, shutting down the possibility of the Cyborg fight, at least for now. And as a result, Harrison is tired of talking about the fight.

“This is the reality: She’s in another promotion, I’m in a [different] promotion,” Harrison said on The MMA Hour. “She’s going to become a free agent, now it’s her job — where is she going to sign? It sounds she wants to go box, which I already knew was going to happen. So I’m not in control of that and I don’t really want to talk about it anymore. I have nothing left to say. It is what it is. I’ll fight anyone, anytime, anywhere. I’m ready to move on.”

Similar to Harrison, Cyborg also seems to be moving on from the fight.

On Monday, Cyborg told MMA Fighting that she is planning for her next fight to take place in a boxing ring, and made it clear that she “doesn’t need” to chase a fight with Harrison. That being said, Cyborg is set to be a free agent this summer and could potentially pursue Harrison to the PFL, and that’s certainly what Harrison is hoping for.

“I don’t know how her contract is written, I don’t know if Bellator has the right to match, I don’t have a copy of her contract in front of me, but I will tell you that I did sign on a dotted line to fight her,” Harrison said. “And there wasn’t going to be a tune up, there wasn’t going to be an easing-in process, I was going to fight her on April 22 in Hawaii.

“PFL used their right to match and I’m super happy that they did. I’m not upset that they did. I love the PFL. ... But yeah, I signed a contract. I’m not scared, I’m not running. Cyborg, if you’re not scared and you’re not running, come fight me here then.”

Whether Cyborg will meet the Harrison’s challenge is very much up in the air, but the two-time PFL lightweight tournament winner says that PFL has assured here they will do everything possible to make it happen.

“I have been assured by the top of the top,” Harrison said. “They want this fight too! Who doesn’t? Everybody wants this fight! They want it, I want it, the fans want it. They’re going to do everything in their power to make this fight happen.”

Until then though, Harrison still has the 2022 PFL lightweight tournament ahead of her, which begins when she faces Marina Mokhnatkina this Friday at PFL 3, in Arlington, TX.