Kayla Harrison warns media about Julianna Pena fight: “You’re going after her seriously.”


For anyone questioning Kayla Harrison’s desire to face the best competition possible, you have to look no further than the conclusion of her recent contract negotiations.

After being granted free agency after her second consecutive PFL title, the Olympic gold medalist had been eyeing a fight with Cris Cyborg in Bellator MMA. Harrison signed with PFL after Harrison was offered an official contract by Paramount. However, Harrison did not agree to a promotion that would make her more difficult opponents.

“I think in a lot of people’s eyes they think that I ran or that I took the money or I’m just all talk,” Harrison told The Fighter vs. The Writer . “These people really don’t understand contract negotiations. I’ll admit that I was offered the chance to fight, and I took it. PFL matched that offer so I was going to go fight — I wasn’t going to do a tune up, I wasn’t going to dip my toes in the water. I was going to go fight. Actually, April 22, and PFL matched the offer and they have the right to do that and they’re taking great care of me and I’m happy with it.

“But, I am not hiding from anyone. I don’t hide from anyone. I don’t fear anyone. I do want to be the greatest of all time. It takes time to achieve greatness, but I am patient and will persevere. I’m going to be patient and I’m going to keep doing what I do and I’m just going to be so good that they can’t ignore me.”

The April date Harrison mentioned corresponds to Cyborg’s rematch with Arlene Blencowe. This seems to indicate that Bellator is moving quickly to book a fight between the two top women’s pound-for-pound fighters around the globe.

Although the fight didn’t happen after Harrison was released by PFL, Cyborg continued to pursue the matchup as she tries to claim her title as the greatest fighter of all time.

Regardless of how it all unfolded, Harrison has still faced criticism for a situation that was out of her control just because there was a desire to see her compete in Bellator or the UFC. After Harrison signed her contract to return to PFL, UFC bantamweight champion Julianna Penna was among the most vocal critics.

“Kayla is just running her mouth, because she knows that nothing’s going to happen. Pena said The MMA Hour early April. “She just signed her life away to PFL. So best of luck with that. I hope it’s good. Make your career off of beating tomato cans. That’s great.”

In response, Harrison actually took aim at the media pushing this particular narrative because she promises the day will come when Pena has to pay for everything that’s been said.

“Listen, you and the media need to be careful,” Harrison said. “You’re going to get somebody hurt and it’s going to be on your hands, not mine. Because you’re going to get a girl hurt. Because you’re going get her seriously injured.

“You gave her the platform, and she believed that she could beat me in a cage. I mean it. You guys are to blame. If I ever get the pleasure of fighting her, whatever happens, I want all of you guys to go and look in the mirror and know that you did that. Cause you are stirring it and I am very frustrated that I can’t just beat her ass.”

Just because Harrison is focused on her future with the PFL right now doesn’t mean that she won’t ever get the opportunity to go after different fights and it appears Pena would be near the top of her hit list.

” I believe that she doesn’t value me. I feel that I have to earn her respect by going against her,” Harrison stated. I think it .”


Harrison is aware that Cyborg, the Bellator champ, is approaching the end of her contract. This means that she has the right to exercise her rights as free agent.

Harrison understands the expectation that she was supposed to leave the PFL to go after more established fighters like Cyborg but in her estimation, it doesn’t matter where the fight happens at so long as it happens.

Maybe Cyborg visits the PFL, or maybe the PFL works with Bellator to promote each other. This scenario has been discussed numerous times.

” I think that in fans’ eyes as well as in many people’s eyes, it’s true that I am still the newcomer compared with an Amanda [Nunes], or a Cyborg,” Harrison stated. Bellator has been around for much longer than I am, so I’m still the unknown. The UFC’s obviously the powerhouse of the MMA world right now. In their minds, it must be exactly where they’re used seeing it as legitimate.

” I think this is what makes PFL so exciting. They’re not afraid to try new things. They don’t mind breaking the mould. The top dogs have assured me that the PFL will do all they can to help me get big fights. Although it’s difficult for me right now to consider that, I do have a fight next Wednesday and the season. I also have to prepare to fight four tough wars in this year’s campaign. However, I’m very certain the PFL will show up and try to make these fights memorable.

Fights against Cyborg or even Pena may still take place in the future but for now Harrison is solely focused on her upcoming season in the PFL, which kicks off on Friday where she serves as the main event against Marina Mokhnatkina.

This fight is also the start of her new lucrative deal with PFL. Harrison will be reportedly one the most highly paid fighters in the sport. This fact cannot be overlooked when anyone complains about her decisions in free agency.

Harrison prides herself on her place in the PFL, and is excited for a busy year ahead.

” I’m not permitted to go into too many details about this contract, but I can say that I earn more than I ever thought I would,” Harrison stated. “There’s security. There’s a lot of guarantees in the contract and it’s an amazing contract.

“I would say I’m happy but I’m not satisfied. There’s a difference. I’m at peace with everything that’s happening but I’m not where I want to be. There is always a hunger. The drive is still there. It’s still all there. The drive, determination and dedication. It doesn’t matter what means I use to be satisfied. It’s still me, the hungry child who didn’t get an Olympic gold medal or five dollars. This part of me remains unsatisfied, but I’m very happy