Kayla Harrison Gears Up for Comeback Against Ex-Bellator Champion Julia Budd at 2023 PFL World Championship

Kayla Harrison is poised for a comeback against another former champion.

Kayla Harrison Fight Julia Budd Nov 24
Kayla Harrison Fight Julia Budd Nov 24 - Image credit @championjewel @judokayla Instagram

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) is all set to witness a thrilling encounter as Kayla Harrison, the two-time PFL champion, makes her much-anticipated return to the cage. She’s slated to face former Bellator champion, Julia Budd, at the PFL World Championship. This marks Harrison’s first appearance since her unexpected defeat to Larissa Pacheco in the 2022 lightweight finals.

The PFL’s official Twitter account shared the news, heightening the anticipation among fans: 

Kayla Harrison Aims to Rebound After First Career Loss

Harrison, who boasts an impressive MMA record of 15-1, had previously dominated the PFL women’s lightweight division, clinching the title twice. However, her undefeated streak came to a halt when she faced Pacheco, a fighter she had previously bested on two occasions. The shocking outcome of their last encounter has added an extra layer of intrigue to Harrison’s upcoming bout with Budd.

Julia Budd, with a record of 17-6, transitioned to the PFL from Bellator. While her journey in the PFL SmartCage has seen its ups and downs, her unanimous decision win over Martina Jindrová in June showcased her prowess. A scheduled fight with Harrison last year was unfortunately canceled due to Budd’s injury, making their upcoming clash even more awaited.

Outside of her MMA achievements, Harrison has a storied judo career, being the first American to secure an Olympic gold medal in judo during the 2012 London Olympics. She repeated this feat at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, solidifying her place in the annals of sports history.

The PFL World Championship, set to take place at The Anthem in Washington D.C., promises more than just the Harrison-Budd showdown. The event will feature six championship finals, with each winner walking away with a whopping $1,000,000 prize and a tournament title. Some of the notable matchups include:

  • Clay Collard vs. Olivier Aubin-Mercier for the Lightweight Championship
  • Sadibou Sy vs. Magomed Magomedkerimov competing for the Welterweight Championship title
  • Renan Ferreira vs. Denis Goltsov in the Heavyweight Championship bout
  • Larissa Pacheco vs. Marina Mokhnatkina vying for the Women’s Featherweight Championship
  • Jesus Pinedo vs. Gabriel Braga in the Men’s Featherweight Championship
  • Josh Silveira vs. Impa Kasanganay battling it out for the Light Heavyweight Championship

With such a stacked card, the PFL World Championship is shaping up to be one of the most exciting events in the MMA calendar this year.

Published on September 13, 2023 at 3:42 pm
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