Following last night’s PFL (Professional Fighters League) 10 finale against Larissa Pacheco, two-time lightweight tournament victor, Kayla Harrison has reflected on her first loss in professional mixed martial arts, noting how “hurt” she feels after dropping her undefeated professional record.
Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, headlined last night’s huge PFL 10 event in a lightweight tournament finale against two-time opponent, Pacheco in the pair’s trilogy fight.
Succumbing to her first professional loss against the Brazilian, Kayla Harrison found herself on the wrong side of a unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) defeat, seeing her run of 15 consecutive victories come to a crashing halt.
Following her judging defeat to tournament victor, Pachecho, Harrison spoke with assembled media following PFL 10, describing her emotions post-fight as she dealt with loss for the first time since her 2018 transition to mixed martial arts.
An emotional Kayla Harrison reflects on her PFL 10 finale defeat
“I didn’t get the result that I wanted tonight,” Kayla Harrison told assembled media. “Larissa (Pacheco) was the better fighter. I don’t have an excuse. I don’t have a reason. I believe in my team. I believe in my team. I believe in my preparation. I feel like we did everything right in order to prepare for this fight and it just didn’t go my way tonight. I made some tactical errors. A lot to work on. Failure is inevitable. Some days you’re the nail and some days you’re the hammer. I feel like I’ve been the hammer for a while and today I experienced being the nail.”
“I’m not ashamed of myself tonight,” Kayla Harrison explained. “I’m proud, I went out there, I fought, I lost, but I can hold my head high and carry myself with dignity. I think that a real champion shows up in the good times and the bad. And I want kids everywhere to know that. Listen, I fell down tonight, I fell flat on my face. I lost in front of the whole world. And it hurts. It’s going to hurt for awhile. But it’s also an opportunity for growth. It’s an opportunity for me to become a better fighter, a better person, and that is part of my legacy.”
“It’s different in the sense that there’s $1,000,000 on the line, and I feel like I’m the face of the promotion,” Kayla Harrison said. “So I dropped the ball a little bit, but losing is losing. For me, It’s like I want to crawl out of my skin. I can’t stand it. So it’s painful.” (Transcribed by MMA Fighting)
Linked with a potential fight with Bellator MMA featherweight champion, Cris Cyborg in the future – Harrison was propped up by the Brazilan in defeat, with Cyborg insisting the lightweight staple would be back with a vengeance in the future.
“Tonight will only make Judo Kayla (Harrison) a better fighter,” Cris Cyborg tweeted. “One thing I learned after going 14 years undefeated is that sometimes you need to lose to become your best. Kayla will be abc and she will grow from this experience. Congrats @pachecolarissa_ you are a real World Champion (love heart emoji).”