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Kayla Harrison Reportedly Signs New Contract with PFL Despite UFC, Bellator Offers

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVMarch 8, 2022

AP Photo/Gregory Payan

Kayla Harrison has reportedly re-signed with the Professional Fighters League (PFL) despite interest from the UFC and Bellator.

According to ESPN's Marc Raimondi, Bellator made Harrison a "lucrative offer" earlier this year, but PFL had the right to match any offer Harrison received from another promotion, and it decided to do so.

The undefeated Harrison is a two-time PFL women's lightweight champion in addition to being a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo.

After becoming the first American to win Olympic gold in judo at the 2012 Summer Games in London and then repeating the feat four years later in Rio de Janeiro, Harrison transitioned to MMA.

She made her pro MMA debut for PFL in 2018 and has had all but one of her fights as part of the promotion. The exception was a bout for Invicta FC in 2020 when the PFL season was canceled because of COVID-19.

Harrison won the 2019 and 2021 tournaments for the PFL women's lightweight title, and she holds an overall record of 12-0 with five knockouts and five submissions.

Per Raimondi, Harrison was "fully expecting" to sign with Bellator and have a dream fight with Cris Cyborg as early as next month, but PFL managed to keep its biggest star.

Raimondi also reported that the UFC made an offer for Harrison, although it wasn't close to the deals offered by PFL and Bellator.

Signing with the UFC could have opened the door for a highly anticipated clash with Amanda Nunes.

The 31-year-old Harrison closed last season by beating Taylor Guardado in the finals of the PFL women's lightweight title tournament on Oct. 27 and will look to become a three-time champion in PFL this year.

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