KEY POINTS

  • Kayla Harrison is among the nominees for ESPY’s Best MMA Fighter Award
  • Harrison joins the likes of UFC stars Charles Oliveira, Kamaru Usman and Alexander Volkanovski
  • Harrison is undefeated in MMA and a two-time PFL champion

By the end of the Professional Fighters League (PFL) 2022 season, women’s mixed martial (MMA) star Kayla Harrison could be a three-time champion and an ESPY winner.

That’s because the 31-year-old was announced as one of the nominees for the 2022 ESPY Award in the Best MMA Fighter category along with three other fellow world champions in the sport.

Also in the running for the prestigious award are former UFC lightweight champion Charles Oliveira, reigning UFC welterweight kingpin Kamaru Usman, and current UFC featherweight titleholder Alexander Volkanovski.

A relatively-new category in the ESPY Awards, there have been only two recipients in the past--Daniel Cormier in 2019 and Khabib Nurmagomedov in 2021.

Should Harrison also take home the coveted award, she becomes the first woman and first non-UFC fighter to do so.

The awarding ceremony is set to take place on July 20th.

While the nominees are indeed a who’s-who of the MMA scene, Harrison stands out as the lone woman and only PFL fighter on the list.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, Harrison transitioned into MMA in 2018 and wasted no time in becoming one of the sport’s fastest-rising stars.

Since then, Harrison has gone undefeated in 13 professional bouts--a resumé that includes nine wins by stoppage and a pair of PFL Women’s Lightweight Championships.

In 2022, Harrison became the subject of numerous headlines in the MMA world as she became the sport’s hottest free agent.

Harrison drew interest from promotions such as the UFC and Bellator, but she ultimately returned to PFL--the league that made her a household name--on a multi-year deal.

With the 2022 regular season ongoing, Harrison is in the middle of her campaign for a historic third-straight PFL championship.

At PFL 6 on Friday, July 1, Harrison meets female MMA veteran Kaitlin Young with the hopes of securing a spot in the upcoming 2022 PFL playoffs, which begin this coming August.

If Harrison can successfully claim a third-straight PFL title, she could be just one of two fighters in the organization’s history to achieve such a feat.

The next few months could be big for Harrison in terms of defining her legacy and establishing herself as the biggest star in women’s MMA today.

PFL Champion Kayla Harrison
PFL Champion Kayla Harrison PFL photo
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