Kayla Harrison lands PFL Lightweight Finals berth, hints at future fights against top female fighters

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To no one’s surprise, Kayla Harrison once again landed a spot in the PFL Lightweight Finals.

Harrison (15-0) submitted Martina Jindrovã (6-2) via arm triangle at 1:17 of the first round of their 155-pound semifinal match on Saturday in London. Harrison put Jindrovå on his back early after catching a leg kick, passed guard and got to work on the choke. It is the ninth finish in the first round of his career.

Immediately after the fight, Harrison declared herself the “queen” of women’s mixed martial arts and referenced potential fights against UFC champion Amanda Nunes and Bellator MMA champion Cris ‘Cyborg’ Justino. Contractually, these fights are far from real right now, but it shows where Harrison’s mindset lies.

“I’m here to tell you that I’m the queen — not of the PFL, not of the 155-pound division — but I’m the queen of women’s MMA,” Harrison said. “And if these three Brazilians took off their running shoes and met me, then you would know.”

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, Harrison sought agency earlier this year and expressed an interest in leaving the PFL, where she has already won the million-dollar tournament twice. However, PFL appreciates Harrison and has made continuous efforts to make some of his dream fights a reality. She re-signed before the regular season.

Harrison, 32, will face a familiar foe in the final, Brazilian Larissa Pacheco (18-4), who was apparently the third Brazilian she referenced in her comments. Pacheco advanced on Saturday by knocking out Olena Kolesynk in the first round. She won all of her fights this year by first-round knockout, but dropped two contests against Harrison in 2019. Pacheco lost both of those fights by decision.

Although Pacheco has already lost twice to Harrison, she is probably his biggest threat on the PFL roster this year.

In addition to the women’s lightweight finals, featherweights Brendan Loughnane (25-4) and Bubba Jenkins (19-5) advanced to the PFL finals. Loughnane of England did it with a spectacular performance against Chris Wade, in which he dominated Wade on the feet as the fight progressed to win three scores 30-27.

Jenkins, a former NCAA National Champion wrestler, submitted Japan’s Ryoji Kudo in the first round. Jenkins trains in Las Vegas.

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