Kayla Harrison is not entertained.
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) Lightweight queenpin will return to her primary fighting home as the 2022 regular season rapidly approaches. With that comes the continuation of critique from the mixed martial arts (MMA) community toward not only her, but her competition, as fans clamor to see a face a boost in opponent quality.
“I used to get so upset by [Internet comments],” Harrison told Fight Nation. “But I just really want to say to them: shame on you. Like, shame on you for calling these women — first of all, women’s MMA wasn’t even a real thing how many years ago? This has been built very quickly and it’s grown exponentially because of Miesha [Tate], because of Ronda [Rousey], because of all these girls who were like, ‘I’m so good you can’t ignore me.’ Basically... And now, we have women who are stepping into the cage who are working two jobs and are single moms and are doing all this stuff and they’re actually chasing their dreams and literally fighting for what they love. And these assholes on the internet have the balls to call them cans. Like no, you’re a can. You’re a tomato can, you’re a p.o.s. How dare you talk about these women like that. It’s so frustrating to me.”
Undefated (12-0) in her professional MMA career, Harrison has battled against little resistance in terms of fight results with only one opponent managing to take her to decisions on two separate occasions.
Going forward, however, the Olympic gold medalist in Judo is extremely optimistic that the promotion will do everything in its power to ensure she is tasked with some stiffer challenges.
“Being with PFL, one the thing that has sort of made me feel at peace and super comfortable and excited about everything is that they’re just as fired up to find those big-name fights, those superstar fights, as I am,” Harrison said. “They don’t care how much money, they don’t care where it is, they don’t care if it’s a cross-promotion or a co-promotion. They really don’t care if it’s in my backyard or if it’s in ESPN, they want to help make it happen. Because I think they know that will legitimize them. Everyone's always like, ‘Oh, Kayla’s a can crusher, da-da-da-da. Who does she fight?’ This will legitimize them and will legitimize me if we can get me a big fight and I can put all that bulls—t to rest.”
Harrison last fought in Oct. 2021 to close out the year’s season, defeating Taylor Guardado via second-round armbar submission.