Not everyone was overjoyed to hear the news about Cris Cyborg’s upcoming foray into professional boxing.
Would-be opponent Kayla Harrison, who competes for Bellator MMA rival PFL, believes Cyborg’s upcoming match-up lacks legitimacy, given her opponent’s record. While Harrison herself has drawn flack for her caliber of competition, she points to the fact that Simone Silva, the Brazilian boxer Cyborg will face on September 25, has a losing record.
“The cans, I fight the cans, everyone’s a can,” Harrison said, speaking on The MMA Hour on Wednesday. “Can, can, can. Tomato can, Del Monte can, you know, they’re all cans. Coca-Cola cans. She’s fighting someone who’s 17-21.”
Silva (17-21) has lost eight straight bouts. Cyborg has no official boxing matches under her belt, but sports a 26-2, 1NC record in MMA and 2-1 record in Muay Thai.
Harrison, for her part, has done just about everything possible to land a fight with Cyborg. That included signing a contract with Bellator MMA — only for the PFL to match the deal, retaining her services.
She’s continued to pursue the fight under the Professional Fighters League banner.
“The last I talked to them, Cyborg was a free agent,” Harrison said, confirming the PFL had approached Cyborg. “They were basically like, name your price, and I don’t know if they heard anything back. I haven’t been keeping up with it to be honest because my job is not to promote, my job is to fight. We all want this fight on this side, PFL and myself.”
“If she needs help getting the deal signed, I will call Peter Murray [PFL exec] myself, and Donn Davis, and ask them. Whatever price she wants, I will speak to them on her behalf, and I will go through a full USADA drug testing. I will be drug tested every day from now until the fight if she’s worried about that. She doesn’t have to be drug tested at all,” Harrison stated. “The only thing that I ask is that they allow elbows.”
While the PFL does not generally allow elbows in tournament bouts, Harrison is hoping for an exception for a non-tournament fight, “so I can put one through her skull,” she exclaimed.
PFL founder Donn Davis later made an interesting offer public: one million dollars to each fighter, with a two million win bonus to the victor for Cyborg vs. Harrison. With the league expected to enter the PPV market next year, Cyborg vs. Harrison is likely the biggest fight they could make, with two of the biggest stars in MMA not under contract to the UFC.
Fans want the fight
Fighters want the fight
$1M each fighter + $2M winner bonus
PPV Super Fight … no more talk … decide the best inside the cage#KaylaCyborg
— Donn Davis (@DonnDavisPFL) August 10, 2022