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Kayla Harrison Reflects on Missed Opportunity to Fight Amanda Nunes and Her MMA Journey

Kayla Harrison, the accomplished two-time Olympic gold medallist judoka and two-time PFL women's lightweight champion, is feeling a bittersweet mix of emotions after the retirement of former UFC double champion Amanda Nunes.

With Nunes hanging up her gloves, Harrison realizes that her long-desired dream of testing herself against the consensus greatest female fighter of all time will never come to fruition.

While she harbors no animosity towards Nunes, who was once her teammate at American Top Team, Harrison expressed her disappointment over certain comments made by the former champ about the gym and coaches. However, her eagerness to fight Nunes was purely rooted in the spirit of competition and respect.

"I want to become that," Harrison said of Nunes' greatness. "My intention was always from a place of respect but also realness. I'm not going to pretend like I don't want to fight (her). ... I'd fight my grandma if she was the greatest."

With Cris Cyborg, the featherweight champion, re-signing with Bellator, Harrison missed out on yet another big fight opportunity. She contemplates how her timing in MMA has been rather brutal, wondering if transitioning to the sport earlier might have increased her chances of landing these mega fights.

"My timing in MMA is pretty brutal," she lamented. "Sometimes I'm like, 'Did I really need a second gold medal? I should have just gone to MMA when I was 22.' Then I could've just been this monster."

Despite the missed opportunities, Harrison is genuinely happy for Amanda Nunes, acknowledging that if she's achieved all she wanted and is content, she respects her decision to retire. Nevertheless, a tinge of sadness remains for herself, knowing she won't get the chance to step into the cage against the legendary fighter.

As her MMA journey continues, Kayla Harrison remains a fierce competitor with a hunger for challenges and an unyielding desire to prove herself in the sport. While her hopes of facing Nunes may be dashed, there are undoubtedly many exciting matchups on the horizon for this remarkable athlete.

With rumors of a potential Bellator-PFL merger circulating, the prospect of new and intriguing fights looms on the horizon. As Kayla Harrison's career progresses, fans eagerly await her next moves, knowing that her determination and skill will undoubtedly leave an indelible mark in the world of mixed martial arts.


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