Kayla Harrison may have lost for the first time in her MMA career at the PFL 2022 World Championships, but that doesn’t mean her promotion has stopped trying to set up a superfight against combat sports pioneer Cris Cyborg.
The MMA world was stunned when Harrison dropped a close 49-48 decision to Larissa Pacheco in the finals of the PFL women’s lightweight tournament. The defeat cost Harrison her unbeaten record, and a $1 million paycheck. Following the loss, Cris Cyborg reminded the world that PFL founder Donn Davis had made a big money offer for her to fight Harrison. Pacheco, in Cyborg’s mind, saved the PFL from having to go through with that deal.
“I think Donn Davis owes Larissa Pacheco a back room bonus, she just saved the PFL $3 million dollars,” Cyborg wrote.
In response, Davis recommitted to booking Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg under some pretty decent financial terms.
“OFFER STANDS,” he wrote. “Kayla Harrison vs. Cris Cyborg, $1M each fighter + $2M winner. Additional ‘tip’ … winner choice Rolls-Royce. Biggest cash purse in history for female MMA fight. No more hiding … decide the best inside the cage … PFL MMA PPV Super Fight.”
A $3 million dollar fight purse is definitely good money, but Cyborg didn’t seem interested in the offer at all.
“I drive Tesla,” one response from Cyborg on Twitter read. Another suggested an alternative pay split, “80/20.” One fan suggested the PFL was ‘disrespecting’ Pacheco by still pursuing Harrison vs. Cyborg and Cyborg replied “Culture of a company is important.”
For now it seems like Cyborg just doesn’t have too much interest in fighting Kayla Harrison in MMA. Right now she’s focused on building up her boxing resume. In September she beat former Brazilian boxing champ Simone Silva. And in December she fights Gabrielle Holloway on the undercard of Terence Crawford’s next PPV fight. That’s all in hopes that she’ll transcend the MMA pay scale and start fielding big money boxing offers from the likes of Katie Taylor.
Back in August, Cris suggested that all the talk from the PFL about a Harrison vs. Cyborg bout was just that: talk.
“We’ve never had any talks with PFL,” Cyborg told ESPN. “They never talk about this fight. I know it’s a lot of talks on the internet to make this fight happen with [Harrison], two different ways, but I’ve never had the opportunity to talk about anything.”
What do you think, Maniacs? Who’s responsible for Cyborg vs. Harrison not coming together?