Kayla Harrison reflects on PFL 10 finale loss: ‘I fell flat on my face, I lost in front of the whole world’

Kayla Harrison
Mandatory Credit: PFL MMA

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.

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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)

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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).”

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