PFL holds onto Kayla Harrison with a long-term extension
For the past year+, the Professional Fighters League has spent a lot of time promoting Kayla Harrison as the next big thing in MMA. Now, they will have more time to do so, as they have signed her to a multi-year extension.
ESPN was the first to report that Harrison (5-0), a two-time Olympic medalist, signed a deal that will keep her with the relatively-new league.
“I am super excited to be signing a multi-fight deal with the PFL,” Harrison stated to ESPN. “This has been my home from the beginning with MMA. Because of them, I’ve been able to come so far. The women’s platform has grown tremendously. They’ve made it completely equal for men and women. We all have the opportunity to fight for $1 million. Not only that, I’m going to become one of, if not the highest paid females in MMA. I’m super happy to be part of team PFL.”
Ali Abdelaziz, Harrison’s manager, stated that the contract is worth seven figures per year. It it worth noting that amount will be regardless if she wins the $1 million she is competing for in the women’s lightweight division.
The 29-year-old Harrison has become a special pet project of the PFL, given her limited MMA experience. Her 45-7 record in judo, however, gives her a competitive edge over most “green” fighters. Originally set to face Genah Fabian at the PFL semifinals in Las Vegas this Friday, Harrison will now be facing Bobbi-Jo Dalziel, who is 1-1- in the PFL. Fabian is out due to weight issues, while Dalziel was able to impress in her PFL debut back in May.
The hope is that Harrison wins this week at PFL 7 (the 18th card of the league), resulting in a potential finals bout against Sarah Kaufman. The latter has to beat Larissa Pacheco in order to make it to the finals, taking place on New Year’s Eve inside Madison Square Garden’s Hulu Theater.
Regardless if she was to win a lot, the Harrison signing is a smart investment by the PFL. If let go, she would surely be picked up by a Bellator or UFC. Now, the growth of Harrison will feel even more important.
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