Improving to 11-0 as a professional mixed martial artist and progressing to the PFL lightweight tournament finale, two-time Olympic gold medalist, Kayla Harrison turned in yet another flawless first round finish, before cutting a promo on opponent, Genah Fabian’s City Kickboxing teammate, current UFC middleweight champion, Israel Adesanya.
Headlining PFL against New Zealand native, Fabian, judoka standout, Harrison managed to stop the Kiwi with first round ground strikes in a truly dominant performance.
Flattening Fabian to the mat after establishing hooks from back mount, Harrison balanced and postured up, before raining down with numerous ground strikes, eventually forcing the stoppage with just under a minute remaining in the opening round.
With the victory, Harrison progresses to the promotion’s lightweight tournament finale — the same tournament she won back in 2019, as she takes on Taylor Guardado, who defeated short-notice replacement, Mariana Morais with a split decision success last night to boot. The victor of the bout between Harrison and Morais will also score the promotion’s $1 million paycheck.
Following her dominant, rather one-sided victory in which she didn’t absorb a single strike from Fabian, Harrison spoke with UFC alum and PFL commentator, Sean O’Connell — where she claimed there was no puzzle on how to defeat her.
“Listen, everyone keeps saying, ‘Oh, how do you solve the Kayla Harrison puzzle? How do you beat her? Blah, blah blah,’” Harrison said. “Spoiler alert, there is no freaking puzzle. I put you on your back. And. I. Mess. You. Up. I told you, one by one, they’re all gonna fall. So doubt me now, but I’m gonna show you how great I am.“
Harrison then aimed at City Kickboxing standout, Adesanya, the teammate of Fabian, claiming that not even he could stop the wrestling threat she presents.
“You kept talking about scientists,” Harrison said to O’Connell. “‘Oh, the scientists at City Kickboxing’ — Izzy (Israel Adesanya) couldn’t stop my takedowns.
During the Ohio native’s post-fight press conference, she then asked current Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg if she would like a “participation trophy” after the Brazilian alluded to a future fight with Harrisson in a tweet stating, “I could make 155lbs“.
“We know she (Cris Cyborg) could make 155lbs, congratulations,” Harrison said. “Do you want a participation trophy? You can make it, but you can’t beat me.“
Earlier this week, speculation began to mount regarding Harrison’s future in the promotion, when she claimed that the PFL would need to offer her “life-changing money” in order for her to stay and delay her legacy, or even introduce an influx of more talent into the organization.
“Obviously, I have these next two fights in front of me,” Harrison said. “These are the most important things. I gotta go out there and I have to dominate and instill my will. I’ve also come to the realization that if PFL and I are going to negotiate, and if they’re unable to bring in new talent or whatever, they’re going to have to offer me life-changing money in order for me to be willing to give up my chance at a legacy. That’s kind of where I’m at mentally. I know the PFL is negotiating with my manager now. That’s stuff that I let them deal with. I have a job to do. I’m going to go out there and kick ass and chew bubble gum. The rest will work itself out. I have no doubt if I do everything right, the rest will work itself out.“
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