Kayla Harrison, two-time champion, re-signs ‘historic new contract’ with PFL

Kayla Harrison, considered the hottest free agent in MMA, is staying put.

The Middletown native and two-time Olympic judo champion, has re-signed with Professional Fighters League.

Earlier this year, MMA promotions Bellator made Harrison, 12-0 as a professional fighter, an offer, but PFL had the right to match the offer and it did.

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Although terms of the multi-year were not disclosed, PFL founder Donn Davis called it a “historic new contract.”

“I think we had a real opportunity to test my value in the market,” Harrison, 31, told The Associated Press. “The value was much higher (than I thought). I never thought I would be making this kind of money doing this. I never thought I would be where I am.”

Harrison beat Taylor Guardado in a second-round submission to win her second PFL women’s lightweight title and $1 million prize last October. She has fought in the PFL since her MMA debut in June 2018.

PFL also announced the debut of what it calls a “Pay-Per-View Super Fight Division.”

PFL CEO Peter Murray said in a statement that star MMA fighters will compete on a “global stage against the best fighters in the sport.” He said Harrison will be fighting in the PFL’s 2022 Season starting next month on ESPN networks and will also continue to “build her legacy” as a main event in the PFL’s PPV Super Fight Division.

Harrison’s opponent for her April return to the cage will be announced “in the coming weeks” along with the rest of PFL’s regular season schedule, the statement said.

As a professional, Harrison has finished seven opponents in the first round and only once went more than three rounds. She has said she wants to be the best MMA fighter ever.

Last Christmas, Harrison returned to Middletown and served as grand marshal in the Santa Parade in downtown.

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