Tomorrow night, the PFL Championship event is being headlined by the biggest name in the promotion, Kayla Harrison (11-0). The two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and two-time defending PFL lightweight champion will look to capture her third championship.
Standing in her way is Taylor Guardado (3-1) who was also perfect in the 2021 PFL season. However, little to no one is giving her a chance to defeat Harrison tomorrow. In fact, most aren’t expecting her to even last a round with Harrison.
Harrison is also fighting the final fight on her PFL contract tomorrow night. Once the championship match is over, all eyes will turn to her free agency. Bellator and the UFC will definitely come calling as Harrison is already one of the best to ever do it.
With Bellator, there’s the potential matchup with Cris Cyborg and with the UFC, there’s the potential fight with the GOAT, Amanda Nunes. The UFC President is very familiar with Harrison, but he issued some advice to Harrison with her free agency looming.
White suggested that Harrison stay in PFL where she can make a lot of money while beating no one of significance. Suggesting that the UFC might be too much. Harrison responded this week saying she will prove to White that she’s the greatest fighter of all time.
PFL CEO Slams UFC
These comments from White caught the eye of PFL CEO Donn Davis. Let’s just say that Davis didn’t take too kindly to the comments from White and told MMA Fighting today that at PFL, the stars are the fighters and not the promoter.
Davis said, “I think thatâ€™s what they do in the UFC. They do two things: They try to put fighters down to increase their leverage, and they try to make it all about them and not the fighters. We donâ€™t do that here. We know the fighters are the stars, not the promoter. They forget that. The fighters are the stars, not the promoter.”
Davis went on to say that in the PFL, they just let the fighting do the talking and skip all the politics. In a way, he’s not wrong. When you fight in the PFL, you are controlling your own destiny with the way you fight and if you win, you will advance.
However, there’s also some major drawbacks to this style like losing out on seeing fights that everyone wants to see. A major fight could be derailed if one of the two were to lose in an opening round matchup. On the other hand, that’s an aspect that also makes PFL intriguing.
PFL is doing their part to try and increase the competition level for Harrison. They’ve signed Claressa Shields and Julia Budd in the last year for the lightweight and featherweight division. Harrison has made it clear that her goal is to be the greatest of all time and competition fuels her.
I’m incredibly intrigued to see what happens with Harrison’s free agency. PFL will likely bring forth the most money, however, they won’t bring the best competition given the current landscape. So will Harrison take the money or will she go the route of Michael Chandler and go for legacy? Time will tell.