Dana White Says UFC's Discussing Contract With Olympic Gold Medalist Kayla Harrison

Doric SamDecember 8, 2021

BROOKLYN, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 03:  UFC president Dana White visits NYC Cops and Kids Boxing Gym on November 03, 2021 in Brooklyn, New York. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Zuffa LLC)
Mike Stobe/Zuffa LLC

Two-time Olympic gold medalist and PFL lightweight champion Kayla Harrison has looked like the most dominant female MMA fighter in the game right now, and UFC president Dana White reportedly is hoping to test that theory.

Aaron Bronsteter of TSN reports that White said the UFC is having contract discussions with Harrison's representatives.

Bronsteter went on to say that White "believes that there is only one way to find out whether Harrison can be considered the best in the world and that's for her to join the UFC and face Amanda Nunes."

Nunes is the UFC bantamweight and featherweight champion and is widely regarded as one of the greatest fighters of all time. She is scheduled to defend her bantamweight title against Julianna Pena in the co-main event of UFC 269 this Saturday.

Harrison has a 12-0 MMA record with stoppage wins in each of her last five fights. She won the PFL lightweight tournament for the second time in her career in October. She is currently a free agent.

Harrison is sure to have a lot of suitors courting her to sign with their promotion, and she has a ton of options. Remaining with PFL gives her the chance to continue dominating, considering it is the only major promotion to feature a women's lightweight division.

If Harrison were to sign with the UFC or Bellator MMA, she would have to commit to fighting at featherweight full-time. Harrison did a test cut to 145 pounds in November 2020 for a one-off fight for Invicta FC, proving that she can make the weight comfortably. The question is whether or not she can make weight in that class consistently.

Signing with Bellator will present Harrison with a marquee matchup against featherweight champion Crys Cyborg, who is up there with Nunes as one of the best female fighters ever. Cyborg sarcastically responded to Bronsteter's report on Twitter, saying, "UFC should have no problem finding value in matching her highest offer, however, she’s probably already making more than Nunes."

But Nunes is the greatest, and if Harrison wants to be recognized as such she would have to sign with the UFC and face her former training partner. Both Harrison and Nunes train out of American Top Team in Florida, but they stopped training together when it became apparent that a fight between them was an inevitability.

Nunes last defended her featherweight title in March against Megan Anderson in a one-sided performance, winning by first-round submission. The UFC has lacked true featherweight challengers for Nunes for a long time now, and signing Harrison would immediately change that.