Mike Brown, head coach of America’s Top Team, knows Kayla Harrison is ready to fight anyone. PFL just needs to bring them quality opponents.
Harrison (15-0) is widely regarded as one of the best fighters in the sport, but the only knock on her resume has been the level of competition in PFL. The two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo has gone through everyone she has faced, en route to back-to-back PFL lightweight titles.
Harrison has openly stated that she would be ready to face MMA greats Amanda Nunes and Cris Cyborg. But with each fighter in a different organization, some form of cross-promotion with the UFC or Bellator must take place, or someone will have to come to the PFL.
“She just wants to prove that she’s the best fighter on the planet, regardless of the organization,” Brown told MMA Junkie. “So whatever it takes, whether it means making simple fights and bringing in some of the best fighters on the planet, that’s what needs to be done, because that’s all he cares about.
“I mean, the tournament helps do that, and that’s how we got here today, but at the end of the day, she wants to be the No. 1 fighter on the planet, and now it’s It’s PFL’s job to get them to her, and that’s what they’re doing. They do a great job there, they throw a lot of money at a lot of top fighters and try to entice them, and we’ll see if there are any takers.
Maybe recently signed former UFC fighter Aspen Ladd could be next. But first, Ladd must pass Julia Budd on Nov. 25 at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden in New York City. In that night’s headliner, Harrison chases her third lightweight title when she takes on Larissa Pacheco in a trilogy bout.
The general idea is that the UFC has the best talent. But Brown thinks Harrison doesn’t need to compete in the octagon to prove she’s No. 1. He thinks it’s more about the fighters she faces than the platform.
“Some people might think that, but personally I don’t,” Brown said. “I think maybe they need to bring in some of the big names that – she could fight somewhere else, but it wouldn’t hurt to bring her in as Cyborg. No problem. Bring them to her and she will spill them. It doesn’t matter where he is. It’s about beating these people.