Kayla Harrison’s march towards a second million dollar prize, a second PFL championship, and potentially a change in promotions continued on Thursday.
Harrison was up against City Kickboxing’s Genah Fabian at the PFL Playoffs 2 card in Hollywood, Florida. The premise here was simple: Harrison was the baddest female lightweight on the planet, regardless of how thin a talent pool that is. Fabian was a taller, longer opponent from a legit camp who trained alongside champions.
Ergo, potentially Harrison’s toughest test to date.
The bigger they are, and all that. In the first half of Thursday’s opening (and only) round, Harrison controlled Fabian up against the cage. Just prior to the midway point, Harrison secured the trip takedown, and was quickly into mount. Harrison began battering her opponent with ground n’ pound, transitioned to an arm-bar, then moved back to mount and dropped hammer fists.
Fabian could do little more than roll from one side to another, and cover up. While the ref gave her every opportunity to escape, defend intelligently, or frankly do something, the writing was on the wall. The outcome was never in question, and Kayla Harrison soon had win #11.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo now moves on to the finals for the second straight season. And with Larissa Pacheco blowing weight ahead of the PFL Playoffs 2 card, it was Taylor Guardado winning earlier in the night to move on in the tournament. Harrison vs. Guardado will take place October 27.
Talk of joining the UFC (or alternately, Bellator), a bigger stage at this point, swirled around Kayla Harrison during the PFL Playoffs 2 fight week. Harrison suggested the league would need to show her something “life changing” in her next contract in order for her to stick around — despite that fact that a million dollars is likely more than either the UFC or Bellator would be willing to pony up in the short term.
Regardless, Harrison has one more fight left in the PFL at least, this fall. After that? Perhaps featherweight, but either way, Kayla Harrison remains to biggest prospect in women’s MMA.
Harrison was in fine form following the fight on the mic, exclaiming that “Izzy couldn’t stop my takesdowns,” in reference to Genah Fabian’s teammate Israel Adesanya. With that sort of self-promotion, she appears to check all the boxes as a fighter any promotion would covet.
Official Result: Kayla Harrison def. Genah Fabian by TKO, Round 1, 4:01