Kayla Harrison is the newest marquee name to be added to the UFC roster, but not everyone is thrilled with the move.
First and foremost, Bellator featherweight champion Cris Cyborg — who has long been tied to a potential bout with Harrison — is wondering why Harrison has chosen to jump from the PFL to the UFC instead of signing up to face her. Following UFC CEO Dana White’s announcement that Harrison will fight Holly Holm at UFC 300 on April 13, Cyborg was quick to coin the nickname “Kayla Gump” for Harrison.
The jab is a reference to the popular phrase, “Run Forrest, run,” from the Academy Award-winning 1994 film Forrest Gump.
Cyborg was not the only fighter to make this reference, as Harrison’s longtime PFL rival Larissa Pacheco also suggested that the two-time gold medal-winning judoka was avoiding her top opposition. Pacheco has twice lost to Harrison, but she defeated her by unanimous decision in their most recent duel in November 2022 to hand Harrison her first loss in MMA.
See more reactions from the MMA community below, including several fighters wondering if Harrison can cut down to the bantamweight limit.
Initial thoughts on Holm vs. Harrison at #UFC300 being announced
– Can Kayla make 135lb? I don’t think it’ll be easy, she’s made 145 before but that extra 10lb fucking hurts!
– Will her strength still be there dropping to a much lower weight class she’s never fought before?…
— Megan Anderson (@MeganAnderson) January 24, 2024
If Kayla can make 135, and make it consistently. This is exactly what the division needed right now. Someone who could be dominant and bring interest to the fights. The weight though??
— Alan Jouban (@AlanJouban) January 24, 2024
PRIDE vs K-1の時のような引き抜き合戦が始まったら面白いー。 https://t.co/OHcUcEJQv6
— 川尻達也tatsuya kawajiri (@CRUSHER_MMA) January 24, 2024
Kayla isn’t making 135 people… 145lb title and maybe this is the reason Amanda Nunes is considering a comeback. What bigger fight than two training partners for a 145lb title.
— Josh Thomson (@THEREALPUNK) January 24, 2024