Kayla Harrison has no ill will toward her former teammate, Amanda Nunes.
With both women dominating their respective competition in recent years, an eventual match-up seemed like something that could slowly become realistic despite their friendship. In early 2022, Harrison tested the free agency waters but ultimately remained put in her fighting home, the Professional Fighters League (PFL).
A deal for the two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo was struck following Nunes’ big upset loss to Julianna Pena at UFC 269 in Dec. 2021 (watch highlights). In the fallout of the loss, Nunes departed their gym, American Top Team (ATT), stating she felt more and more “cornered” by the arrivals of Harrison and Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Bantamweight contender, Yana Kunitskaya.
“I have nothing negative to say about Amanda,” Harrison told MMA Fighting. “Again, great teammate, I really enjoyed the time we got to train together. I really enjoyed learning from her, growing with her, pushing each other. I feel bad that’s how she feels because I always tried to be upfront and respectful about my wishes and my goals. I never shied away from it or tried to pretend.
“I feel bad that she felt that way,” she added. “But I also feel like that’s not my responsibility. I can’t control how she feels. She’s also in the gym training, watching me train and getting better. I was not worried or offended or nervous.”
At this point, Harrison finds herself locked in with PFL for the foreseeable future. Tomorrow night (Fri., July 1, 2022) at 2022 PFL 6, she’ll look to secure a spot in the 2022 playoffs with a 14th straight win when facing Kaitlin Young.
Nunes, on the other hand, returns seeking redemption against Pena on July 30, 2022, at UFC 276 in Dallas, Texas.
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