by Dane McGuire
Following her unanimous decision loss in the women’s lightweight final at the 2022 PFL World Championship, Kayla Harrison should be able to get back on track in no time.
Both Harrison and the woman who defeated her, Larissa Pacheco got the minimum medical suspensions of seven days mandatory rest.
It’s unclear at this point what Harrison’s next move as a part of the PFL will be as she revealed she has just two fights left on her current contract and will not be fighting in a tournament/season format again in 2023. Instead, she is focused on legacy fights.
“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.”
Prior to the bout Harrison revealed that due to health issues, her loss could be that last time fans see her fight at lightweight.
“I’m 32. When I tell you that it is a mental and physical grind to get to this title, it certainly is,” Harrison told MMA Fighting. “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. There’s a chance [this next fight is my last at 155 pounds].
All three judges scored the fight 48-47 with Pacheco getting the statement win over Harrison.
An emotional Harrison said at the post-fight press conference:
“I felt like I needed to win the fifth round,” Harrison said. “She was doing more damage than me. Even on the ground, some of the shots from the bottom I was like, what the hell just hit me? I felt like I really needed to find a way, and I was even thinking that before the fight. ‘Twenty-five hard minutes, I’ve got to find a way.’ And I just didn’t find a way tonight…
“She was just extremely physical this fight. I feel like it was a different person in there, to be honest. I don’t know. She was much bigger, much stronger than I recalled. Much more patient, obviously. There were a couple times she flurried and blitzed, but she kept her conditioning really well. She did a great job. She’s a champion.”