UFC President Dana White says he is interested in signing two-time Olympic gold medallist Kayla Harrison someday.
This is a change of heart for White, who not so long ago questioned if the American judoka was ready for the UFC.
A PFL women’s lightweight champion, Harrison’s contract with the promotion is set to expire at the end of its season in 2021 and it seems she has now caught White’s eye.
“Yeah, I know her contract’s up soon,” White said of Harrison in an interview with Big Night Breaks on Instagram. “I don’t know if she’s ready to come over here yet, or if her people feel she’s ready to come over here yet, but when she is, we’re ready.”
Since moving from international judo competition to MMA, Harrison has plied her trade in PFL and at Invicta FC for a one-off fight in 2020 – putting together a perfect 9-0 record with seven of those victories coming by either knockout or submission.
One argument against Harrison joining the UFC was that she competes at the lightweight limit of 155 pounds, a women’s division that doesn’t exist at the UFC. However, that sole fight for Invicta saw Harrison successfully cut down to the 145-pound featherweight limit where two-division UFC champion Amanda Nunes rules. Nunes happens to be a teammate and former training partner of Harrison’s at American Top Team.
Harrison, also a World Judo Championships gold medallist, disagreed with White’s initial assessment of her not being ready for the UFC and her response in an interview with ESPN may be what helped change his tune as she bids to be the greatest female fighter in MMA history.
“I think that if Dana is ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money,” Harrison told ESPN’s Ariel Helwani. “I have stated many times, I’m ready to face the best in the world.”