Kayla Harrison doesn’t just want to talk about the biggest and best MMA fights, she actually wants to compete in them. The 30-year-old American was the women’s lightweight champion for the Professional Fighters League (PFL) last season, and the undefeated megastar told Heavy she’s all about getting her hands on Cyborg as soon as humanly possible.
“She does a lot of talking…I’m not afraid of anyone,” Harrison said.
To that end, Harrison is also excited about future megafights against the likes of fellow PFL star Claressa Shields and UFC “champ champ” Amanda Nunes.
“That’s what I want. It’s why I became an MMA fighter,” Harrison said.
The next PFL season begins on April 23, and Harrison is excited to get back into action.
Harrison believes she’s on her way to becoming the best MMA fighter in the world, and she aims to prove it by facing and beating the sport’s biggest names.
When asked about a recent report that labeled Cyborg “scared” of the rising PFL phenom, Harrison pointed out that the 35-year-old Brazilian legend did seem way more likely to talk about fighting her than actually doing it.
“Well, I mean, she does a lot of talking, but she doesn’t do a lot of signing on the dotted lines,” Harrison said.
Recently, Cyborg suggested she might be willing to face Harrison in the distant future.
Cyborg told James Lynch on her YouTube channel, “I believe this year she’s gonna fight for PFL, she’s gonna be in a tournament at 155, and if she becomes the champion of this tournament, for sure I would like to make a match with her that all the fans would like to watch.”
Harrison would rather the fight happen now, but it looks like she’ll have to wait for it.
Harrison Respects Cyborg
Still, Harrison revealed a healthy amount of respect for the Bellator women’s featherweight champ.
Cyborg might not have jumped at the chance to face Harrison two years ago when the MMA legend was a free-agent, but the former UFC, Strikeforce, and Invicta FC champion is one of the most decorated fighters in history.
“I have a lot of respect for that, but I’m not afraid of anyone,” Harrison said.
Still, Harrison hopes any future storyline around the two MMA superstars is built around the two stalwarts actually fighting each other.
If that happens, Harrison expects to prove she belongs among the elite.
“I just have that inner confidence, that inner belief. I know that I train hard. I know that I work hard. I know that I’m smart and capable. I look forward to someday proving all that against someone like Cris Cyborg,” Harrison said.
PFL Superfight Looms vs. Boxing Champ
But if there’s any single superfight that appears to be on the way for Harrison the soonest, that would likely be Harrison taking on new PFL-signee Claressa “T-Rex” Shields.
According to NBC Sports, the two fighters have known each other for over eight years.
Harrison and Shields first met when each was representing the United States at the 2012 Olympics.
“We were just two young girls,” Harrison told NBC Sports. “She told me, ‘I’m gonna win,’ and I said, ‘Me too.’ And then we both watched each other win, and we’ve stayed in touch ever since.”
Like Harrison, Shields won two gold medals in her chosen sport (boxing) before becoming a professional prizefighter. But Shields took the pro-boxing route and netted world titles across three different weight classes.
Now, Shields is transitioning over to MMA under the PFL’s promotional banner, and Shields told Heavy earlier this year she can’t wait to lock horns with Harrison in a cage fight that “hopefully” happens next year.
For her part, Harrison is just as excited about the potential megafight.
“She’s young. She’s hungry. She’s super talented. I’m looking forward to watching her compete and stepping in the cage with me someday,” Harrison said.
Harrison even came up with a fun way to make a super compelling fight even more interesting.
When asked if she and Shields would wear their gold medals to the cage, Harrison said, “Are we going to put the gold medals on the line?”
You can watch the whole interview below.
YouTube: Real Talk with Kelsey and Rachel