Kayla Harrison is just a single fight away from taking home her second PFL Lightweight world championship and another million-dollar paycheck, with Taylor Guardado being the only woman left to stand in her way. Harrison might have hit her thirties since she won her first PFL season but she has showed no signs of slowing down whatsoever, this is made even more impressive by the fact that her entire life has revolved around competing at the elite level of combat sports. As a two-time Olympic Judo champion she has already experienced the feeling of returning to defend a title she’s won, so she’s unlikely to be feeling the pressure building up before her fight with Guardado.
After winning her debut PFL season and taking her professional MMA record to 7-0 in the process, Harrison took a slight detour to make her debut for Invicta FC and in the Featherweight division when she knocked out Courtney King in the second round. Since returning to PFL, Harrison has looked even deadlier than ever before and has managed to finish every one of her three opponents this season in the first round without ever even being put under pressure. This run has taken her professional MMA record to a perfect 11-0 with all but two of those fights ending in a finish, and seven of them coming in the first round.
Guardado was a promising prospect around a decade ago when she was racking up impressive wins on the amateur circuit, going 8-1 with her only loss coming against the legendary Ronda Rousey just months before she went professional. After some time away from the sport, Guardado made her return last year in a losing effort for Invicta FC in her professional debut, before switching over to PFL and rattling off three impressive wins to earn her place in this season’s final.
She will no doubt be a tough opponent for Kayla Harrison but at this point, it doesn’t look like there’s a woman alive who can stop her from claiming the PFL Lightweight world championship for a second time. Once that’s done, the future looks uncertain for Harrison after she downplayed the likelihood of her remaining with PFL for a third title-run. While the UFC does not have a Lightweight division at present, Harrison has managed to make the Featherweight limit once before and according to Dana White, the promotion is open to bringing her on board.
The full PFL 2021 Championship final card, headlined by Kayla Harrison v Taylor Guardado, will be taking place on October 27th and is available to watch on ESPN, click here for international alternatives.