Kayla Harrison at 135 pounds simply isn’t even possible... right? Well, she’s going to try and find out.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo remains the hottest free agent in mixed martial arts (MMA) after obtaining two Professional Fighter’s League (PFL) 155-pound Lightweight championships. Harrison has fought as low as 145-pounds at Featherweight when fighting for Invicta Fighting Championship in 2020.
For a while, Harrison’s negotiations were leaning toward a return to the PFL cage, but things have since hit a snag. Now, she’s weighing all options to the absolute fullest extent.
“I’m considering it,” Harrison told ESPN of a move to the 135-pound Bantamweight class. “I heard that [Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) champion] Julianna [Pena] said she’d move up to 145 if they paid her enough, so that’s good news. That means I don’t have to chop off an arm. ... I want to be the best. Everyone is talking about her.
“Why not? I have to conquer one mountain at a time, though. Whatever mountain comes next.”
To make a sophisticated effort, Harrison intends to hire a chef and find a nutritionist to see if making 135 pounds is physically possible.
In regard to options along with the PFL, Bellator and UFC seem like the only other real possibilities as both promotions have publicly expressed their interest and that all parties were in talks. With Harrison’s former American Top Team (ATT) teammate in Amanda Nunes dropping her UFC Bantamweight crown to Pena at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 (watch highlights), it’s been believed to have shaken things up behind the scenes — not only on Harrison’s end but UFC’s, too.
“Other things have happened and there’s some last-minute things happening behind closed doors that I’m not entirely sure now what’s going to happen,” Harrison said, adding that she’ll sign “wherever is best for Kayla.”