‘Disappointed’ Donn Davis reacts to Kayla Harrison leaving PFL, says planned fights were ‘bigger than’ anything in UFC

Kayla Harrison, arguably the longtime face of the Professional Fighters League, is now in the UFC, and while PFL co-founder Donn Davis wishes she was still on the roster, the believes the promotion will be just fine without her.

Following Harrison’s win over Aspen Ladd at the PFL World Championships event this past November, Davis believed Harrison still had one fight left on her PFL deal, but then she ended up signing with the UFC and will face Holly Holm at UFC 300 on April 13. When asked what happened with the situation, Davis gave his honest response.

“I don’t know,” Davis said on The MMA Hour. “And I talked to Kayla, and I believe Kayla and I have a very good relationship, and I don’t know [what happened]. So I can only speculate and I don’t really like to speculate about things that are about other people.

“So one, I don’t know, and two, I’m disappointed. So I think – unlike Dana [White] when he talks about other fighters, tends to be negative if they leave, tends to be negative if they don’t do what UFC wants them to do – here, I’m disappointed. PFL, in six years, has never lost a fighter, and remember, in year one and year two and year three, PFL was not a strong company. We’re a new company, so there were many reasons for fighters to leave and they never did. Now, did we release up fighters? Yes. Did we upgrade fighters? Yes, because we were always getting better. Never had a fighter leave, so this is the first time in six years.

“And ironically, PFL had never been stronger and the matchups we had for Kayla Harrison, were better than the matchups she was going to get at UFC. She was going to fight Cris Cyborg, which I believe is the biggest fight available in the women’s division possible. It’s a legacy, career statement fight for her. [Then] Larisa Pacheco, who beat her fair and square. So Kayla’s, call it next two to three fights at PFL are harder than they are at UFC, are bigger than they are at UFC. So I don’t know. I really can’t explain her motivations for leaving, and I was disappointed.”

Harrison competed 16 times for the promotion — which was originally World Series of Fighting before transitioning to the PFL — along with one fight for Invicta, winning all but one — a decision loss to Pacheco at the PFL World Championships in November 2022. Additionally, it seemed that a fight with Cyborg with inevitable after the PFL absorbed Bellator this past November.

Unfortunately, that fight may never happen, and Davis admits that he is sad about that — or not having any fight involving Harrison in his promotion. But in the end, Davis feels the PFL will march forward without her with great success.

“That being said, because PFL has never been stronger – 80 fighters ranked in the top-25, 33 fighters ranked in the top-15 – we’re fine,” Davis explained. “It’s almost like when people post about UFC, they’re always fine if Connor’s not fighting this year or something like that. So our brand, our ratings, our financials, zero impact to Kayla not being here.

“But personally, I don’t like when any fighter leaves. So I wish she was here.”

Source link

You May Also Like