Kayla Harrison has appeared not only supremely confident in the cage this year, but on the mic as well.
Harrison (10-0) has had a couple of mic drop moments in post-fight interviews, took a reporter to task for what she felt was a sexist question during a media session earlier this week, and in general has become one of the more outspoken fighters in the PFL.
Is that a reflection of her confidence as an athlete? Or is it the realization that in order to get the general public interested, she needs to do a little self-promotion?
Asked just that by Cageside Press during Tuesday’s PFL Playoffs 2 press conference, Harrison admitted that “to be honest it’s probably a little bit of both. Number one, I’m ten fights into my career. I train hard, I believe I deserve to be here, I believe I’m the best in the world. And that confidence comes inside the cage and outside the cage.”
“And number two,” she continued, “I realize that people don’t want Miss Congeniality. They don’t want, I dunno, they don’t want some Mrs. Nice Girl. It’s not that I’m [putting on] a personality or anything like that, I just realized that I’m going to say what I think, and people can like it or not like it, but as long as they watch me, I don’t care.”
Opposite Harrison this Thursday is Genah Fabian, who has seemed to be almost an afterthought in the match-up. On the other side of the women’s lightweight bracket is Larissa Pacheco, who faces Taylor Guardado in the other semifinal.
Asked who she expects to see in the finale, “I think that people probably have Larissa down, and my gut says that,” Harrison stated. “But if we just went based off who should win or could win, then we wouldn’t put the fights on. So I’m excited to watch these ladies fight and give it their best, and I’ll be ready for whoever it is. Doesn’t matter.”
With the PFL taking all of 2020 off, Harrison managed to fight just once last year, under the Invicta FC banner. The Kayla Harrison of 2021 is a much different beast than the one who claimed the championship in 2019, however.
“The difference is, this Kayla would eat that other Kalya alive,” Harrison said Tuesday. “Every single day I’m in the gym getting 1% better. I don’t skip days, I don’t skip training. I feel like I’m now more comfortable, and I’m a dangerous fighter because I’m comfortable, I’m ready, and this is my purpose.”
Watch Tuesday’s full PFL Playoffs 2 press conference above. The event takes place Thursday, August 19 in Hollywood, Florida.