Kayla Harrison hopeful for Cris Cyborg fight after PFL-Bellator sale: “It feels closer than ever”

By Josh Evanoff - November 22, 2023

Former PFL tournament winner Kayla Harrison doesn’t want to jinx it, but she might fight Cris Cyborg.

Cris Cyborg and Kayla Harrison

The Olympic judoka is set to return to the PFL Smart Cage this Friday night against Aspen Ladd. Originally slated to face Julia Budd, the fight will be Kayla Harrison’s first in over a year. Famously, she suffered the first loss of her career last time out, suffering a decision defeat to Larissa Pacheco last Fall.

Kayla Harrison’s return comes at an interesting time in PFL’s history. Earlier this week, they bought out Bellator, acquiring the likes of Cris Cyborg, AJ McKee, The Pitbull Brothers, and more. While they plan to run the brand as its own entity for now, they’re already planning a Bellator vs. PFL card for 2023.

Ideally, Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg would happen on that planned February event. During a recent appearance on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour, the former PFL tournament winner was asked about the bout. There, she stated that she was hopeful that she would get to face the Brazilian, but she didn’t want to jinx it.


Kayla Harrison

Image via: @kaylaharrisonofficial on Instagram

“I just get so tired of talking about it,” Kayla Harrison responded when asked about a potential bout with Bellator champion Cris Cyborg. “I just get tired of talking about her. It does [feel realistic now], it feels closer than ever. That’s why I’m not going to jinx it, not going to talk about it, not going to think about it.”

She continued, “I’m just going to focus on Friday. Do everything I have to do to set up that awesome event. Until then, I’m not thinking about it.”

While Kayla Harrison is set to return this Friday, Cris Cyborg recently booked her return to the ring as well. In January, the Brazilian will face Kelsey Wickstrum in her third boxing match to date.

What do you make of these comments? Do you want to see Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg in the PFL?


Cris 'Cyborg' Justino Kayla Harrison Professional Fighters League (PFL)