Looking Ahead: Top Fights to Make in Mixed Martial Arts in 2023

Cris Cyborg, Bellator 279
Cris Cyborg, Bellator 279 Credit: Bellator MMA

5. Cris Cyborg vs Kayla Harrison

Does Harrison’s recent loss in the PFL final affect the intrigue for this bout?  Yes. But it also frames the bout as perhaps more evenly matched than either of the two competitors have publicly suggested.

As it is understood, Justino has a final Bellator bout on her contract and could sign a one-fight deal as a free agent to compete against Harrison on one of the PFL’s pay-per-view events next year.  Another option she has is to re-sign with Bellator and have the two-sides co-promote the pay-per-view with Harrison also obligated to compete in Bellator at a later date.

The business of the bout aside, the two are arguably at a great time to meet competitively.  For Justino, the bout with Harrison remains the highest profile bout to be made for her in MMA and only a boxing bout with Irish superstar Katie Taylor would be bigger for her overall.  For Harrison, the chance to bounce back against one of the most dominant mixed martial artists of all-time would be the type of victory re-inject momentum into her career and intrigue into what the PFL will do should they look to continue the foray into pay-per-view going forward.