Recent reports indicate that UFC president Dana White appears to be open to the idea of signing two-time Olympic Judo Champion and currently undefeated reigning PFL World Champion Kayla Harrison, and she’s certainly interested. This would be phenomenal news for the heavier women’s weightclasses in the UFC, and that’s actually how the topic of signing Harrison came about. In a recent interview with TSN, White expressed the uncertainty of the Women’s Featherweight division, one that is notoriously hard to fill with elite talent:
“We’re still goofing around with that division, trying to see what the GOAT wants to do, Amanda Nunes. That’s what we’re doing.”
This is when the conversation with Dana White turned to the current PFL Lightweight World Champion Kayla Harrison, and the potential for her to make the jump to the UFC:
“I don’t know if she’s ready. When she feels like she’s ready. I’m always looking for the best possible people to come in and fight. If you don’t think that we’ve offered for her to come over… I just don’t know if her people think she’s ready yet. It’s a whole other level when you get here.”
While White seems convinced that the women already signed with the UFC would give Harrison some serious trouble, it seems hard to imagine that there are many women on the planet other than the current UFC Featherweight and Bantamweight World Champion Amanda Nunes who could actually trouble the undefeated Judoka:
“Amanda, Germain, Holly, Aspen Ladd, I mean, you got Julianna Peña, the list goes on and on. So it’s a lot tougher when you come over here.
So far, Harrison has finished all but one of her nine professional MMA fights, with eight of them coming in the Women’s Lightweight division. She did however drop down to Featherweight at Invicta FC 43 where she dominated Courtney King for almost two full rounds before the referee put a stop to it. It seems unlikely that Harrison would want to move to the UFC this year, as she’s just started her journey to defending her PFL Lightweight title in the promotion’s 2021 season with a crushing first-round knockout of Mariana Morais, in a tournament with a million dollars on the line.
She did give a recent interview with Ariel Helwani where he prompted her on White’s recently stated public interest and she was open to the idea of moving to the world’s premier MMA organization:
“I think that if Dana is ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money.”
“I have stated many times that I’m ready to face the best in the world… I don’t get to pick who I fight, it sounds like I get to create this super division of all these badass women and say hey fight me. I can control what I can control, and that’s my performance.”