Kayla Harrison Continues Fast Rise With Dominant Win

Kayla Harrison

PFL Kayla Harrison is one win away from becoming a two-time PFL champ.

Kayla Harrison is already the most popular fighter in the Professional Fighters League (PFL), and now the 31-year-old American is just a single win away from capturing her second world championship. That’s especially impressive since Harrison started her MMA career less than three years ago.

Harrison defeated Genah Fabian on Thursday night in the main event of the PFL playoffs card at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, in Hollywood, Florida, to advance to the 2021 PFL world championship card scheduled for October 27.

It took Harrison about half a round to get Fabian down to the ground, and it became hopeless there for the New Zealander to get through the rest of the fight.

You can watch the finish below.

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Harrison’s Next Fight for PFL Gold on October 27

Harrison now moves on to face Taylor Guardado for PFL gold on October 27.

Five other world championships will also be on the line that night at the same venue in Florida, but Harrison is likely to command the most attention.

Harrison is a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo. That alone set her on a course in her career that most MMA fighters could never hope to travel, and her undefeated record since and dominant wins running roughshod over the competition in the PFL’s women’s lightweight division has turned Harrison into one of the fastest-rising stars in MMA.

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Harrison Heads Into Free Agency Soon

Famed MMA journalist Ariel Helwani foresees Harrison becoming “one of the most sought-after free agents in the game,” and he’s not wrong.

Harrison is coming to the end of her contract with the PFL. While she’s admitted she could see herself returning to MMA’s only league for “life-changing money”, she’s also stated she doesn’t know if she can accomplish the lofty goals she has for her legacy by staying put.

UFC president Dana White has already admitted publically he’s interested in signing Harrison, and the rest of the MMA world is sure to follow his lead.

Harrison will be the hottest free agent in the business this Christmas, and she either wants the presents under her tree to be the kind of competition only the UFC can offer her, or she at least wants so much money from grandma that she doesn’t mind not getting to open anything else.

Harrison trains alongside UFC women’s bantamweight and featherweight champion Amanda Nunes at American Top Team, and some in the sport see Harrison signing with the UFC as the only way to offer Nunes, at least this side of the third fight against UFC women’s flyweight champion Valentina Shevchenko, any kind of legit competition.

On the other hand, the UFC isn’t the only game in town. Harrison also traded words with former UFC champion and current Bellator superstar Cris Cyborg.

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Harrison Wants Superfights Against Top Stars

Harrison currently competes at 155, but she’s said she could potentially move down to 145 to fight against the likes of either Cyborg in Bellator or Nunes in the UFC.

Future fights against either or both of those legends are exactly the kinds of fights Harrison wants most, and it wouldn’t be all that shocking to see her win them.

Keep in mind that Nunes and Cyborg are already hailed by most as the two best women’s MMA fighters in history. That’s how dominant Harrison has been in the cage so far in her young career.

Some people think she beats both.

Praise from UFC Superstars

Let’s put it this way, if real recognizes real, then Harrison must be the realist.

Retired UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov recently recognized Harrison as “the best in the world” per ESPN. “The Eagle” believes Harrison is a “beast”.

UFC “BMF” champ Jorge Masvidal also praised her. Masvidal said, “I think she’s capable of some craziness…It’s just f****** nuts, man. I can’t wait for the world to catch fire on her.”

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Harrison’s Future Clear and Murky at Same Time

Expectations surrounding Harrison are incredibly high right now, so many want to know what will come next for her.

To that end, the most important thing that absolutely happens next for her is the championship fight against Guardado on October 27.

Harrison will be just as big a betting favorite in that fight as she has been all season long.

After that, the path still seems pretty clear, even if the organization she fights for is set to remain a murky picture.

Will she return to the PFL? Will she leave for the UFC or Bellator?

Only this one thing is sure: all she does is smash fools and cash checks.

Somebody smart once said something about all Harrison does is “smash fools and cash checks”.

That’s likely to remain the same no matter where she ends up fighting.

READ NEXT: ‘All She Does Is Smash Fools and Cash Checks’

Twitter: @Kelsey_McCarson

YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel

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