The PFL 2023 season has already started and one woman has been noticeably absent from the lightweight division, Kayla Harrison. It’s surprised a lot of fans seeing as she won both the 2019 and 2021 editions of the tournament, and won the first fourteen fights of her career at the promotion. She was well on her way to repeating those feats in 2022 when she won all of her fights up until the final, but she suffered the first loss of her professional career to Larissa Pacheco. The two have a history and Harrison had already beaten her twice before that fight, but it was obvious she still was still going to want to get another one in the win-column against her.
“I wanted to be in the season. Of course, I wanted to be the season. The second the tournament was over, the second I lost, I wrote down my goals. I was like, ‘145-pound champ, gonna be in the season, avenge my loss.’ I had all my key areas of focus, and that’s not in the cards for me. That’s not what they wanna do. They want me to fight in the pay-per-view [events].”
It might seem strange that Harrison wanted to compete in the season and wasn’t able to do so, but she also explained what she thinks is the reasoning behind it too:
“I don’t know [the problem]. I think I get paid a lot of money. I think they feel like that’s not the best way to utilize me. I think they want to put me on a pay-per-view card against a big name.”
Kayla Harrison was incredibly honest about the situation though, and even if she knows the reason why, she’s still going to feel like she’s missing out on something by not competing in the PFL 2023 season:
“I’ve been a little bit depressed about it. It’s hard to watch something you helped build — no matter how awakened and peaceful I am — the world is still moving forward and I’m sitting right here. Sometimes that’s hard. I want to fight, I don’t just want to talk about fighting. It’s frustrating.”
The full interview with Kayla Harrison where she explains her feelings on missing the PFL 2023 season was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of MMAFighting: