Kayla Harrison left ‘Heartbroken’ after 1st career loss: “I feel foolish about all of it.”

Kayla Harrison
Mandatory Credit: PFL

The former Olympic and world champion judoka, Kayla Harrison recently suffered her first-ever loss in mixed martial arts, which has left her feeling heartbroken and foolish. 

Kayla Harrison has been known for dominating her opponents in the Professional Fighting League (PFL). In fact, she has won the PFL Women’s Lightweight Tournament twice already, each time earning the million-dollar cash prize. However, as she neared a three-peat, she took a stumble as Larissa Pacheco gutted out a tough decision win against her in the finale. 

This marked Harrison’s first professional defeat in MMA and has left her feeling with all types of emotions, which she expressed in a recent interview

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“I understand anytime you step in the cage, anything can happen. That’s why we have fights, you know? So, no, I’m not shocked. I’m disappointed, heartbroken, sad, and also I feel foolish about all of it at the same time, and there’s a lot of layers to it. I’m sure you understand, but I’m not surprised. I understand that this is why we do what we do.” (H/T BJPenn.com)

Kayla Harrison struggles to make sense of her first loss 

Prior to the PFL 10 event, Kayla Harrison had a perfect 15 and 0 record and looked largely untouchable. In fact, she had created enough buzz through her performances that many believed she could be the kryptonite to someone like Amanda Nunes. That’s why she confidently went into the Lightweight Tournament Final as the overwhelming favourite. 

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A part of the favorable odds stemmed from the fact that Kayla Harrison had defeated Larissa Pacheco twice previously and didn’t look like Pacheco could bridge the grappling gap between her and Harrison. But Pacheco proved all the doubters wrong, including Harrison who had done her fair share of trash-talking leading up to the bout.

This in particular has made the loss a tough pill to swallow for Kayla Harrison.

“I live my life out loud and I talk a lot of s***. I failed on Friday night. I fell on my face. That’s a hard thing to come to terms with.”

Despite failing at her goal to win another PFL tournament and keeping her record squeaky clean, she has faced the criticism and scrutiny that followed with her head held high. So, there is a very good chance that this loss will only make Kayla Harrison into a better fighter, which could be a scary sight for the rest of the women in the PFL. 

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