Kayla Harrison returned to the cage on Wednesday, entering her second PFL world title fight.
Having won the league’s 2021 season at lightweight, she was the heavy favorite against the little known Taylor Guardado. As much as a -4000 favorite, by the time the fight arrived in Hollywood, Florida.
Harrison proved exactly why
An early clinch saw Guardado fire off a couple of knees, but Kayla Harrison planted her opponent on the mat care of an inside trip. Harrison was exactly where she wanted to be, uncorking some heavy punches, then working the body. Harrison transitioned to half-guard, then side control. Guardado reclaimed half-guard, but that was a rare bright spot.
Before long, Harrison worked on a kimura, americana, moved to full mount, and peppered Guardado with shots. Harrison took the back, and all Guardado could do was cover up, clearly out-matched. They’d roll, and Harrison had one hook in. Guardado turned to the side, and eventually managed to get Harrison back in her guard. So Harrison stood up, fired a heavy punch, and let Guardado up. Guardado fired a front kick, which Harrison answered with a left hand. When Guardado closed the distance, Harrison put her back down with a judo toss.
Round two was more dominance from Kayla Harrison. Guardado was soon on her back, awkwardly stacked against the fence. Before long, Harrison moved into mount, which Guardado held on for dear life. Guardado went belly down, and Harrison began dropping more volume, punch after punch to the head. Not a lot of heat behind them, but Harrison managed to grab an arm shortly after, rolling into an arm-bar. She forced the tap, and secured her second straight PFL women’s lightweight championship!
— PFL (@PFLMMA) October 28, 2021
Harrison’s title win comes in the final fight of her current UFC deal. Whether she returns to the promotion, or tests the waters in the UFC or Bellator MMA, will likely come down to who gives her the best offer. It was clear once against Wednesday, however, that the PFL is very much the Kayla show.
Official Result: Kayla Harrison def. Taylor Guardado by submission (arm-bar), Round 2, 4:00