The Kayla Harrison Race Attracts The UFC
Since its creation in 2017, the UFC featherweight division has been largely idle. After four years, the division still has no rankings, and the roster remains shaky at best, with little indications of improving anytime in the near future.
Felicia Spencer, one of the few professional featherweights, announced her retirement last week. In the same week, Aspen Ladd, who quickly announced her featherweight debut after losing weight at bantamweight, revealed her intention to return to 135.
The UFC’s featherweight division, according to Ladd, wants Kayla Harrison to exist. It’s very feasible already that Harrison is a free agent, she might come in and salvage the division.
The destiny of the division, according to UFC President, Dana White, may not be in hands of the PFL lightweight champion, but more in the hands of the UFC’s reigning featherweight champion, Amanda Nunes.
“That division is still there for the champ,” White said Wednesday in an interview with TSN.
“The day (Nunes) says she doesn’t want to defend that belt anymore, we probably let it go. It’s there for her. And I’m interested in the whole Kayla Harrison thing. She thinks she’s the best in the world. There’s only one way to find out: come over here and fight the GOAT.”
UFC President Dana White recently counseled Harrison to persist with the PFL and keep taking what he considered to be easy money.
This 180-degree turn suggests that was the case, or that other UFC officials eventually encouraged White to make a move for the Olympic gold medalist.
White revealed to TSN that the UFC is in active negotiations with Harrison, and that those talks will lead to her joining the UFC if she truly wants to show herself the greatest.
According to White, a competition like Amanda Nunes is a complete non-factor.
Bellator has also expressed interest in Harrison, with head of the company Scott Coker stating that the organization will speak with her next week at the Bellator 272 post-fight press conference.
PFL is also hoping to keep her on for a fourth year.