Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison has run through the women’s lightweight division with little resistance. That can be attributed to the shallow talent pool in the 155-pound weight class, or perhaps her manager is protecting her from “real” competition.
That’s according to Bellator MMA champion Cris Cyborg, who also wore gold for UFC and Strikeforce. But the Brazilian is not opposed to jumping up from the featherweight division to give Harrison a headlining super fight before calling it a career.
”A couple fights I’ve seen her,” Cyborg told James Lynch on The Catch-Up (transcribed by Drake Riggs). “I believe she’s fighting girls under or below her skill. The girls aren’t on her level. But she’s doing great, this is a strategy [by] her manager.”
Harrison, 30, has spent most of her career with Professional Fighters League (PFL) but under her current contract the 7-0 judoka is permitted to take one-off fights for other promotions, like she did for Invicta FC last November in Kansas City.
“I believe this year she’s gonna fight for PFL, she’s gonna be in a tournament at 155,” Cyborg continued. “And if she becomes the champion of this tournament, for sure I would like to make a match with her that all the fans would like to watch. I would like to go to 155 before I retire. I want to help build the division and if she is young, let’s see if she would like to do a match, one real match for her.”
Fortunately for Cyborg (23-2, 1 NC), who turns 36 this July, Harrison is not opposed to testing her might in the featherweight division, so combat sports fans may not have to wait for the Brazilian to finish up her 145-pound career for Bellator MMA.