Kayla Harrison is fighting for the love of the game, not the money she makes along the way.
The two-time PFL Champion recently suffered her first setback in the Smart Cage during the promotion’s 2022 PFL Championship pay-per-view event in November. Harrison entered the women’s lightweight final as the heavy favorite. Facing Larissa Pacheco, the woman she handily defeated on two prior occasions, many assumed Harrison would walk through her opponent once again. Pacheco had other plans.
The Brazilian standout looked better than ever on her way to a shocking unanimous decision upset, becoming the new women’s lightweight champion and handing an emotional Harrison the first loss of her mixed martial arts career.
Despite the loss, there still seems to be a significant amount of interest in seeing Kayla Harrison take on tenured women’s MMA superstar Cris Cyborg in a cross-promotional super fight. PFL co-founder Donn Davis had previously offered the two women warriors a guaranteed million dollars for the fight with the winner getting an additional $2 million bonus. David upped the ante by throwing in a winner’s choice Rolls-Royce.
Cris Cyborg responded to Davis’ offer on Twitter suggesting an 80/20 split of the total fight purse. It’s highly unlikely Harrison, more specifically her manager Ali Abdelaziz, would agree to those terms, but for Kayla Harrison, it’s not about the money. In an interview with Marc Raimondi of ESPN, Harrison said that she’ll leave the number crunching to her management team, she just wants to fight.
— CrisCyborg.Com (@criscyborg) November 29, 2022
Harrison’s Strategy is Centered on Fighting Rather Than Negotiating
“I would love for that (fight) to happen. She knows that I would love for that to happen,” Harrison said. “I would definitely love to fight Cyborg, Rolls-Royce or no Rolls-Royce. I don’t do this for the money, I don’t do it for fancy cars. I actually do really love what I do… It means a lot for me.
“I mean, I don’t care (about the purse split). I don’t do this for money. Obviously, Ali would murder me. I have to take care of my family. That’s for my managerial team to figure out,” Harrison added. “I’m just a fighter, I don’t crunch numbers.”
While Cris Cyborg appears ready to stay with Scott Coker and Bellator MMA, Kayla Harrison will once again become an unrestricted free agent in 2023. The PFL will likely attempt to retain Harrison’s services to help promote their foray into pay-per-view events, but it’s possible that Harrison could jump to Bellator, making Cyborg vs. Harrison a much easier fight to produce.
What do you think of the outcome of a fight between Kayla Harrison and Cris Cyborg?