PFL World Championship 2023 results: Kayla Harrison puts on suffocating performance to beat Aspen Ladd

Kayla Harrison got back in the win column after a dominant victory over Aspen Ladd at the PFL Championship 2023 card on Friday.

It was Harrison’s first appearance since falling to Larissa Pacheco almost exactly one year ago but she wasted no time proving why she’s still one of the top women’s fighters in the world while scoring multiple takedowns on Ladd over three rounds. Harrison continuously shredded Ladd’s defenses while unleashing punches and knees on the ground before the fight came to a close.

When it was over, the judges all scored the fight 30-27 for Harrison.

“She was gumby in there, she was definitely durable,” Harrison said about Ladd after her win. “I think ring rust is a real thing. I was nervous as hell. I’m just so grateful to be here. Thank god for PFL, I’m able to provide for my family.”

Over aggression from Ladd led to an early body lock takedown from Harrison as she brought the fight crashing down to the canvas. While Ladd made a valiant attempt to escape, Harrison quickly countered and brought her back to the ground again as she kept looking to throw punches and advance her position.

Ladd defended effectively to avoid getting into too much trouble but she was still stuck in Harrison’s grasp throughout the opening round.

On the restart, Ladd attempted to throw some combinations on the feet but Harrison was quick to close the distance and slip inside for a well-timed takedown. Despite every attempt from Ladd to scramble to her feet, Harrison was ready to counter with another throw or takedown.

Late in the second round, Harrison looked for an arm-triangle choke but she ran out of time before she could really get into position for the submission. Harrison then decided to test her striking in several exchanges on the feet before looking to plant Ladd on the ground again.

To her credit, Ladd sprawled out of a bad position and nearly took Harrison’s back but the two-time PFL champion managed to reverse positions to get back on top again. From there, Harrison began launching knees at Ladd whenever the UFC veteran attempted to get back to her feet again.

Time expired with Harrison still dishing out punishment with 162 to 27 in total strikes over Ladd during the three round fight. Afterwards, Harrison turned her attention towards the future and a long awaited showdown with Bellator champion Cris Cyborg, although she didn’t mention her by name.

“I’m excited that PFL just acquired Bellator,” Harrison said. “I heard there’s a girl in Bellator who thinks she’s a bad b****. Well, why don’t we find out?”

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