Sean O’Connell doesn’t see other promotions paying Kayla Harrison what PFL does
Sean O’Connell has firsthand experience when it comes to how much the PFL can offer – as does the current active dominator, Kayla Harrison.
O’Connell (21-10), a former UFC light heavyweight, joined the promotion for their first season in 2018 and won his way to the million-dollar prize – leading to his retirement where he now acts as play-by-play commentary.
The current 2021 campaign is set to conclude on Wednesday, Oct. 27 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida where the undefeated lightweight superstar in Harrison (11-0), looks to claim her second PFL title – what comes afterward is where most find intrigue.
“I hope she runs her whole career through the PFL,” O’Connell told MMA Junkie. “That’s what I hope to see. But on the flip side of it, knowing the ballpark of what Kayla is making for a season of fighting in the PFL and an estimate of what she could be making elsewhere – we’re talking about her going to the UFC. It is no more important for the PFL’s future to keep Kayla than it is for Kayla’s future to stay with the PFL. Nobody else is going to pay Kayla Harrison what the PFL is paying her.”
Kayla Harrison has made it clear that she’s open to looking at options outside of the PFL following what would be her second straight run through a PFL season. Thus leaving many to believe she’d head to Bellator or UFC for potential clashes with champions Cris “Cyborg” Justino or Amanda Nunes.
“I know she wants to check this box of, ‘I’m the greatest fighter on the planet’ and there’s only one woman (Nunes) she would have to beat that would test that, who happens to be her training partner – so that might not happen, anyway,” O’Connell said. “Kayla Harrison is going to be in high demand as a free agent, but no one values her more than the Professional Fighters League does.
“No one is going to pay her more than PFL is willing to pay her, and ultimately this is a business. And now that she’s the mom of two children, I know that financial security and making sure their future is set is more important to her than anything else, so I think that this is such a mutually beneficial relationship. It would be very unwise for the PFL to let her go anywhere else, and I think it would be very unwise for her to push the envelope to go somewhere.”
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