Beginning in 2023, Kayla Harrison will no longer compete in Professional Fighters League (PFL) tournaments.
Olympic gold medalist in judo, according to PFL founder Donn Davis, signed on as the promotion's inaugural pay-per-view (PPV) fighter in March 2023. Harrison won't participate in the standard PFL season formats in 2023, where contestants compete four times a year for the title and $1 million.
The inaugural season of the PFL's women's featherweight division will begin in 2023 as well. In her 15-fight career, Harrison has only contested once at 145 pounds, but she views that as her potential future category as more athletes move up to that weight. She will give each bout her whole attention. That will enable her to pursue her long-term objective of being regarded as the top fighter in women's MMA.
“Yeah, this will be my last season,” Harrison said. “I’m 32. When I tell you that it is a mental and physical grind to get to this title, it certainly is.
“I can’t even imagine trying to make 145 pounds four times in six months. I think that is, for me, impossible. I’m hypoglycemic. It would be a health risk, and I wouldn’t be performing at my best if I did that to my body. I know it’s time for me to be patient and get the big fights.”
On November 25, 2022, in New York City, Harrison hopes to win her third straight PFL tournament championship. The 2022 PFL Championship's main event will feature the judo master preparing for a trilogy match versus formidable Brazilian foe Larissa Pacheco.
“There’s a chance [this is my last fight at 155 pounds],” she said.
Currently, Harrison claimed that she hardly ever finds the time to do anything other than train and get ready for fights during the PFL season, and it's a challenging task to take on, especially considering that she's done it for three years running.
Harrison claimed she was assured the organization will make every effort to support her pursuit of high-profile fights that would enable her to solidify her position as the finest female fighter in the world after concluding a period of free agency by re-signing.
Harrison and Bellator champion Cris Cyborg has long been discussed in the context of a potential crossover match, and the PFL recently signed former UFC fighter Aspen Ladd to its roster. Harrison hopes to devote all of her attention to those battles after winning on November 25 rather than continue with another PFL season.
“I have everything I want,” Harrison said. “I want for nothing. Everything I have is enough. I’m grateful and blessed beyond measure. Financially abundant. Three titles let’s not get greedy, I’m happy with that. I’m ready to be patient and wait for the fights that are really going to catapult my legacy.”