“We’re disappointed that fight between Cyborg and Kayla did not happen. Kayla chose not to make it happen and move on to her next chapter," Murray said at the PFL vs. Bellator press conference on Wednesday, Jan. 24
The two-time PFL champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist had been a staple of the PFL, having most of her professional MMA fights in the promotion since her debut in 2018.
UFC president Dana White revealed that Harrison has been signed to the UFC and will make her debut at UFC 300, where she will take on former UFC champion Holly Holm. Since the Bellator and PFL merger, there had been lots of talk about a potential fight between Harrison and Justino. That fight is no longer going to happen.
“We had the fight that matters," Murray said. "The fight that matters most. Candidly, the biggest fight in women’s sports, in MMA. Ultimately, Kayla made a decision to move on. We wanted to make that fight.”
Kayla Harrison will fight Holly Holm at UFC 300
Throughout most of her MMA career, Harrison had been a lightweight, fighting at 155 pounds for most of her fights, once fighting at featherweight, 145 pounds. Her bout against Holm will be at bantamweight, 135 pounds – the lightest Harrison will ever be for a professional fight in her career thus far.
“We wish Kayla well," Murray said. "She’s a two-time champion with us, women’s 155, and she’s moving on to UFC. She’s going to be on a historic card, which I believe is a testament to the level and quality of talent in the PFL. We wish her well."
Justino has revealed that her upcoming PFL debut will be her last fight in MMA as she shifts her focus towards retirement.
The PFL is now targeting a matchup between Justino and multi-weight PFL champion Larissa Pacheco.
“Larissa, a two-time PFL champion, women’s 155 in 2022 and she won the 145 championship this past year," Murray said. "So she holds two belts, two different weight classes. She obviously defeated Kayla in 2022 in that championship. She’s ready. She wants Cyborg."