After Julianna Pena submitted Amanda Nunes at UFC 269 to win the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) women’s Bantamweight title (see it here), “Venezuelan Vixen” took the opportunity to take a shot at Kayla Harrison by saying she doesn’t have much time to worry about “B-league” fighters.
Harrison — who is currently a free agent — has competed her entire career under the Professional Fighters League (PFL) banner, winning the $1 million tournament in back-to-back years. Upon catching wind of Pena’s comments, Harrison fired a scathing warning shot across Pena’s bow.
“I think she should be careful — I think she needs to be careful about what she says and who she says it to,” the two-time Olympic gold medalist said during a recent interview on The MMA Hour (via MMA Fighting).
“I’m not Conor McGregor. I don’t talk sh-t just to talk sh-t. I have a lot of respect for her. I think she’s a good fighter. But, this isn’t a joke, and you should be careful because I don’t play those games. I’m not a B-league fighter,” she said. “I’m going to be the best in the world, and if you think that’s different, then step in the cage with me and find out.”
Harrison was cageside to witness Pena pull off the massive upset over her American Top Team (ATT) training partner . According to UFC President, Dana White, the Nunes loss ruined all hopes of a potential massive fight between “Lioness” and Harrison (even though Nunes still holds the Featherweight strap).
While Harrison has yet to make up her mind regarding where she will be fighting next, for her it’s all about fighting the best in the world ... not the name of the promotion.
“My goal of being the best includes people like Amanda, includes people like Cyborg, includes the top people in the world. But, I do believe that, given enough time and given enough space to run free, I can accomplish it with or without them. I think it’s ideal for the best fighters to fight against each other in the prime of their career. That’s what everyone wants to see, so I’m here for it.
“But me going to UFC, or not going to UFC, or staying in PFL, or going to Bellator, those things are personal,” Harrison continues. “Those things are my decision and on my career, and it has nothing to do with Amanda, it has nothing to do with Cyborg. It’s about what I think is going to be best for me, my family, and my legacy. What I want to achieve in this sport and in this world, so I don’t think her losing affects that. I think I’m that going to shine no matter where I go or what I do. I believe in myself that much.”
Dana White recently changed his tune about signing the judoka after initially brushing her off. Bellator MMA head cheese, Scott Coker, has also expressed interest, as has WWE’s Vince McMahon, apparently. Let’s not forget that Harrison hasn’t ruled out returning to PFL where she has won all 11 of her fights.