Kayla Harrison did exactly what she was expected to do at Wednesday’s PFL 2021 World Championship, dominating Taylor Guardado in the women’s lightweight final without ever being in real danger.
With her second million dollars in prize money and second championship belt, Harrison (12-0) said she was “humbled and blessed and happy to be among all these champions up here.”
Harrison, who twice won the gold medal in judo at the Olympics, was asked about the difference between a gold medal and gold belt. After joking that the belts were heavier, Harrison admitted that she’s spent her life chasing gold of some sort.
“My entire life, I guess I’ve been chasing gold, looking for that one day, looking for that next moment, looking for that next big high,” she told media outlets including Cageside Press during the PFL 2021 World Championship post-fight press conference. “I guess I didn’t really realize until I got older that it’s not so much about the gold, but about the journey. I’ve been chasing all this stuff selfishly, but the gold that I have at home, those two kids — I have two belts, two gold medals, but now I have two kids. Those two kids I have at home are the priceless pieces that I have. But I like twos.”
Harrison is an adoptive mother, having taken in her niece and nephew earlier this year. And it appears that her new family will play a considerable role in decisions about her future. With Wednesday’s title fight win, Harrison is now a free agent — the hottest one on the market, with promotions like the UFC and Bellator clearly in play.
Asked what matters more now, the money or the competition, Harrison had to pause — and admitted she wasn’t sure.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. I have a lot to think about. I have a family now,” she replied. “Obviously, I still want to be the best in the world, I still want to continue to challenge myself. I feel like I can do that where ever I go, but I’ve got two mouths to feed now, and a family to take care of.”
“We’ll see what happens. I’m just going to enjoy this right now.”