The UFC has joined the Kayla Harrison sweepstakes.
The UFC featherweight division has been relatively dormant since its inception in 2017. Four years in, there still are not any rankings for the division, and the roster continues to be flimsy at best, with no signs of that changing anytime soon.
For instance, one of the very few featherweights under contract, Felicia Spencer, made the decision to retire last week. That same week, Aspen Ladd, who made her featherweight debut recently after weight struggles at bantamweight, has announced that she intends to go back down to 135.
Ladd also is on record in telling MMA News that the UFC’s featherweight division needs Kayla Harrison if it is going to survive. Now that Harrison is a free agent, it is entirely possible that she could come in and help save the division.
Dana White Reveals The UFC Is In Talks With Kayla Harrison
Kayla Harrison, Dana White
However, according to Dana White, the fate of the division isn’t in the hands of the two-time PFL lightweight champion but is dependent on the UFC’s reigning featherweight champ, Amanda Nunes.
“That division is still there for the champ,” White said Wednesday in an interview with TSN. “The day (Nunes) says she doesn’t want to defend that belt anymore, we probably let it go. It’s there for her. And I’m interested in the whole Kayla Harrison thing. She thinks she’s the best in the world. There’s only one way to find out: come over here and fight the GOAT.”
It wasn’t long ago that Dana White advised Kayla Harrison to stick with the PFL and continue taking what he deemed to be easy money. Such a nonchalant indifference to one of the biggest free agents in recent history came across as potential reverse psychology.
This about-face indicates that may have been precisely what it was, or perhaps other UFC executives later persuaded White to make a play for the Olympic gold medalist. Whatever the reason, White confirmed to TSN that the UFC is, in fact, in active talks with Kayla Harrison, and those talks will culminate with her joining the UFC if she really wants to prove she’s the best.
As for the matter of Harrison and Nunes being teammates at American Top Team? A total nonfactor for a competitor like Amanda Nunes, says White.
“Well, first of all, Amanda Nunes is one of the best athletes I’ve ever worked with, and she doesn’t play all that goofy, ‘We’re friends’ shit,” White assured.
Bellator has also confirmed interest in Kayla Harrison, with company president Scott Coker saying in last week’s Bellator 272 post-fight press conference that the promotion will meet with her this week. PFL also hopes to retain her services for the fourth year.
MMA News will be right on top of Kayla Harrison’s free agency and fill you in on all the latest updates.
Do you think Kayla Harrison should follow Dana White’s revised advice and fight Amanda Nunes in the UFC to “prove she’s the best?”
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