Ahead of her long-awaited Octagon bow at UFC 300 in April, former PFL (Professional Fighters League) star, Kayla Harrison has been denied a shot at bantamweight gold off the back by current champion, Raquel Pennington, even if she topples common-foe and former champion, Holly Holm in her debut.
Harrison, a two-time PFL lightweight tournament winner and two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, is set to make her move debut in the Octagon in April – taking on former undisputed bantamweight champion, Holm in a high-stakes clash at the bantamweight limit.
Sidelined since last November, Ohio native, Harrison most recently turned in a one-sided unanimous decision win over former UFC bantamweight contender, Aspen Ladd in her final PFL outing
Moving to 16-1 as a professiona, Harrison’s sole professional defeat came in the form of a decision loss to three-time foe, Larissa Pacheco in the pair’s trilogy lightweight tournament finale fight.
Kayla Harrison denied title fight with UFC 300 win
And widely tipped to land bantamweight spoils by the end of the year if she can successfully make the 135 pound limit in April, Harrison’s pursuit of a championship won’t begin after UFC 300, according to Colorado gold holder, Pennington.
“There have been plenty of athletes that have been here a long time,” Pennington told MMA Fighting. “They’re busting their ass every single day, they’re trying to grind through each and every fight and build things for themsevles, and work their way to that opportunity, and I feel like she doesn’t deserve to just skip the line because she has a huge name behind her.”
Can Kayla Harrison win the bantamweight title after her debut at UFC 300?