Kayla Harrison became the PFL Lightweight world champion for the second time in a row in 2021 but she has recently declared some interest in moving down to the Featherweight division next year, in 2023. Harrison has been the most dominant force in her weightclass for quite some time now, racking up a perfect 7-0 professional record before her first tournament win all the way back in 2019. Despite spending the vast majority of her career in the Lightweight division, Harrison has actually competed at Featherweight before. She had one fight under the Invicta FC banner against Courtney King and took just under two rounds to win her debut in the weightclass by TKO.
Harrison then returned to both PFL and the Lightweight division, continuing her incredible career to a perfect 12-0 as she lifted the season’s title once again in 2021. Harrison spent a while testing the waters of free agency and received contract offers from every major MMA promotion on the planet, but after a lengthy saga she actually decided to re-sign with PFL on a contract that would last several years. She wasted no time in getting back to work and won both of her fights in the regular season to book her place in the playoffs, before knocking out Kaitlin Young in the first round of her semifinal fight.
This has guaranteed her place in the final of the Lightweight tournament against her old foe, Larissa Pacheco, at PFL 10 on November 25th. The pair have fought twice before and although Harrison won both of those fights convincingly, Pacheco remains one of only two women that she has not been able to finish in her career. When Kayla Harrison sat down with MMA Fighting recently, she hinted that she may well be moving down to Featherweight after she attempts to claim the Lightweight title for the third time:
“I’m 32. When I tell you that it is a mental and physical grind to get to this title, it certainly is. I can’t even imagine trying to make 145 pounds four times in six months. I think that is, for me, impossible. I’m hypoglycemic. It would be a health risk, and I wouldn’t be performing at my best if I did that to my body. I know it’s time for me to be patient and get the big fights. There’s a chance [this next fight is my last at 155 pounds].”
There are definitely bigger fights that may away Kayla Harrison at Featherweight in 2023, and PFL founder Donn Davis has openly said that the promotion would love to be able to book her in a fight against a legend of the division, Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. Harrison is smart though of course and she’s not looking too far into the future just yet, as she also said she was focusing on the next fight in front of her right now:
“I have everything I want. I want for nothing. Everything I have is enough. I’m grateful and blessed beyond measure. Financially abundant. Three titles, let’s not get greedy, I’m happy with that. I’m ready to be patient and wait for the fights that are really going to catapult my legacy.”