Middletown’s Harrison fights Friday, finalist for ESPY for best MMA fighter

Kayla Harrison is shown during a Professional Fighters League bout against Larissa Pacheco at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. three years ago. Harrison is a two-time $1 million prize champion in the PFL lightweight championship. (AP Photo/Greg Payan, File)

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Kayla Harrison is shown during a Professional Fighters League bout against Larissa Pacheco at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y. three years ago. Harrison is a two-time $1 million prize champion in the PFL lightweight championship. (AP Photo/Greg Payan, File)

Kayla Harrison, a Middletown native and two-time Olympic gold medalist, will continue her quest for her third Professional Fighters League title and $1 million prize Friday night at the OTE Arena in Atlanta.

On Tuesday, she was named one of the four finalists to win the 2022 ESPY Award as the Best MMA Fighter. The other finalists are Alexander Volkanovski, Charles Oliveira and Kamaru Usman, according to a release from ESPN.

The ESPYS will air at 8 p.m. July 20 from Los Angeles. Fan voting for all categories is open on EPSYs.com through July 17.

But first, Harrison will face Kaitlin Young, a late replacement for Julia Budd, who has a reported injury, at PFL 6. The fight will headline the card that features women’s lightweights and welterweights as part of the 2022 PFL regular season.

Undefeated in her fight career, Harrison will look for her second win in 2022 after defeating Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous decision. That served as the first fight on her new deal with the PFL after Harrison re-signed with the promotion following the first free agency period in her career.

Young (12-12-1) is coming off a loss to Budd last October, and was only listed as an alternate for this year’s PFL regular season.

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