Former two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion Kayla Harrison hasn’t been seen since her shocking upset loss at the hand’s of Larissa Pacheco last year — but that is about to change.
Harrison (15-1) will return to action against former Strikeforce alum and Bellator MMA featherweight champion Julia Budd (17-6) at the 2023 PFL Championship on November 24, 2023. The event is set to take place at The Anthem in Washington D.C. airing live on ESPN+ PPV.
Harrison vs. Budd will serve as a featured fight on the card, which will feature all six of this year’s PFL finals, with Olivier Aubin-Mercier vs. Clay Collard pencilled in as the show’s main event.
Having beaten Pacheco twice prior to her loss last November, few saw the upset coming despite the Brazilian’s track record under the PFL banner. Long the face of the PFL, Harrison, a former two-time Olympic gold medal winner in Judo, had seemed unstoppable. Fantasy bookings against Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg were frequent subjects of conversation.
Budd is another name many wanted to see Harrison face upon the former’s arrival to the PFL. The pair were expected to face off in July 2022 at that year’s PFL 6 card, only for Budd to withdraw due to injury.
Canada’s Budd is coming off a decision win against Martina Jindrova in June, putting her at 1-1 in 2023 following a loss to Pacheco earlier in the year. The three points earned were not enough to get the 40-year old into the playoffs, but finally seeing the fight with Kayla Harrison come together might be a silver lining.
This year’s PFL Championship card currently has the following fights attached:
- Clay Collard vs Olivier Aubin-Mercier — for the PFL lightweight championship
- Sadibou Sy vs Magomed Magomedkerimov — for the PFL welterweight championship
- Renan Ferreira vs Denis Goltsov — for the PFL heavyweight championship
- Larissa Pacheco vs Marina Mokhnatkina — for the PFL women’s featherweight championship
- Jesus Pinedo vs Gabriel Braga — for the PFL featherweight championship
- Joshua Silveira vs Impa Kasanganay — for the PFL light heavyweight championship
- Kayla Harrison vs. Julia Budd