Last night at the PFL championships, Kayla Harrison (12-0) ran through Taylor Guardado (3-2) and submitted her in the second round. With the win, Harrison remained perfect and captured her second consecutive PFL championship.
Immediately after the fight was over, the focus shifted to where Harrison will fight her next fight. Earlier this week, we talked about the options that Harrison will have in front of her. She will hear from the UFC and she will hear from Bellator.
Bellator would love to put on the dream fight between Harrison and Cris Cyborg. Meanwhile, the UFC is the premier organization in mixed martial arts and it’s hard to be considered the best ever having not competed on the biggest MMA stage.
Then of course there’s the PFL. The organization that has been behind Harrison from the very beginning and has done everything in their power to make her a superstar. PFL is going to do everything in their power to keep her, but will it be enough?
After the PFL championships last night, Harrison was asked about what her deciding factor will be when it comes to deciding her next destination. Will her decision be about money or will it be about legacy?
Will Harrison stay with PFL?
If the decision comes down to the dollars, I think Harrison is going to stay with PFL. Bellator might make a very competitive offer, but in the end, I can’t see PFL getting outbid for Harrison. They’ve invest so much in her and I think they fully intend on staying in the Kayla Harrison business.
Then there’s the UFC. Just like Michael Chandler discovered, the UFC is not going to give her the highest dollar amount. However, what the UFC can offer Harrison is so much greater than Bellator and PFL.
The exposure and stature that Harrison can achieve in the UFC is unmatched. Even with a shallow featherweight division. Chandler has spoken at length at how much bigger he is now that he’s with the UFC and he’s considered to be one of the best fighters in Bellator history.
The star appeal and the goat appeal that the UFC can offer can’t be matched. However, Harrison might not care about that at the end of the day. She has to do the best thing for her family and that’s what makes this decision so intriguing for fans.
If I had to put money on it, I think that Harrison is going to end up deciding between Bellator and PFL. I think those two will present the best offers from a financial standpoint in the short-term. If I’m going with my gut, I have a feeling that Harrison will jump to Bellator to fight Cris Cyborg.
Wouldn’t be shocked at all to see a PFL reunion, but for Kayla Harrison, PFL might be a “Been there, done that.” There’s nothing left for her to accomplish there which means it might be time for a new chapter.