Kayla Harrison insists that she is still down to fight Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg after their match-up fell through earlier this year.
The two-time Professional Fighters League champion claims during her recent stint in free agency she agreed to fight Cyborg on April 22 in Hawaii.
Ultimately, the fight never took place as Harrison re-signed with PFL, who retained her services by matching Bellator’s contract offer, scuppering plans for the superfight in the process.
The two-time Olympic gold medallist insists that her foray into the free agency market was nothing to do with wanting to leave PFL and everything to do with wanting to face the very best competition – something she still craves.
“It was never about not wanting to stay with PFL,” Harrison told talkSPORT.
“I believe in the format. I believe that being sport based in a meritocracy is the way to go. You put the fighter’s destiny in their hands. I believe in the equality of it, and I love everyone that works for the PFL.
“I’ve had nothing but a great experience with them. It was more about, time to test myself. Unfortunately, in the world of MMA, the three best female fighters all fight in different promotions. I said: ‘Hey, I’ve got to go and try and get this.’
“It wasn’t personal, it was just business. I was offered to fight Cyborg on April 22 in Hawaii and I was prepared for that, I accepted. But PFL said: ‘Sorry Kayla, we love you too much’ [laughs]. And I’m OK with that. I love the PFL too.”
McGregor told to avoid Chandler by UFC legend after struggling against Khabib
UFC fighter says social media star stole seats from family and watched porn at fight
Kayla Harrison sad to hear she was the reason Amanda Nunes left ATT
Fans point out mistake in former UFC star Paige VanZant’s ‘dumbest’ new tattoo
PFL announce first-ever UK shows as they head to London and Cardiff this summer
Shevchenko wants bantamweight title shot against the winner of Pena vs Nunes 2
Cyborg is set to become a free agent this summer and Harrison is excited to see if the MMA legend will come to the PFL for a fight with her.
“Now Cyborg is going to be a free agent, she talks a lot so let’s see if she puts her money where her mouth is,” she said.
Harrison added that PFL is prepared to work with Bellator on a co-promotion for what would be one of the biggest fights in WMMA history.
“I know PFL and I are prepared,” she said. “The U.S., London, the moon – wherever they want to make it happen, we’re prepared to make it happen.
“But I got a tough season ahead of me. I got three more tough fights. I got to stay focused on that and we’ll see what happens after.”
The 31-year-old got her 2022 PFL season off to a great start earlier this month when she picked up a unanimous decision win over Marina Mokhnatkina to stretch her perfect MMA record to 13-0.