Former PFL tournament winner Kayla Harrison’s time at lightweight is likely coming to an end.
The Judoka has been out of action since her submission win over Martina Jindrová in August. The victory moved Harrison to 15-0 in her professional career and also moved her into the 2022 PFL women’s lightweight tournament finals.
It’s far from new territory for her. Harrison is already a two-time tournament winner, having outlasted her competitors in the 2019 and 2021 women’s lightweight seasons. She’s now set to meet Larissa Pacheco in a trilogy fight at PFL 10 later this month.
The Brazilian has been bested twice in their series already by decision. However, Pacheco is currently riding a five-fight knockout streak, leading some to believe she might spring the upset. The PFL seems to believe it’ll be a good matchup, as the trilogy is set to headline their first pay-per-view event.
Depending on how things go, the trilogy bout could also be Kayla Harrison’s last at 155-pounds. Furthermore, it’ll also be her final fight in a PFL tournament format, as she revealed in an interview with MMAFighting.
According to the former tournament winner, the grind to stay in shape and make weight year-round has been tough. That, combined with PFL’s next season taking place at featherweight, and not lightweight, has made Harrison decide to sit out.
However, that doesn’t mean she’s leaving anytime soon. It’s worth noting that Harrison has made it clear that she’s with PFL for the long haul.
“Yeah, this will be my last season,” Harrison said. “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 is my last fight at 155 pounds].” (h/t MMAFighting)
She continued, ” I think when you don’t know, it’s hard to grasp it. For me, that is the hardest part. I don’t have a life. You think that I’ve done anything fun this year? You think that had enough energy to brush my hair this year? I wake up, I take my kids to school, I eat breakfast, I train, I come home, I shower as fast as I can, I pick up my kids, I take them to their activities, I have help, she shows up and helps make dinner or I make dinner, and then I go train again. I come home, I help with bath time and bed time, I go to sleep and then I do it all over again. Every eight weeks, every 10 weeks, I have a fight.”
“I don’t travel. I don’t see my other family, I don’t go to fun events. If something hurts, you better figure it out fast, because you’ve got a fight in three weeks. Oh, if you have a medical issue, you have a health concern, you have things that need surgery, you’ve got to put it off. You have stuff that you’re supposed to be working on like your foundation, well, you’ve got to put it off, because you don’t have enough energy. It is a mental and physical grind. It’s not so much about the opponents, but every single time I step in that cage, I’m putting my legacy on the line. I have a desire to achieve great things. It’s f*cking hard.”
Kayla Harrison’s time at lightweight might be ending, but the promotion seems intent on finding her opponents at 145-pounds. Earlier this year, the PFL signed UFC veteran Aspen Ladd, who’s shown an interest in facing the former tournament winner.
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