Kayla Harrison wants to fight UFC champion Cris “Cyborg” Justino, eventually. The feeling appears mutual.
“She knows where she can find me,” Justino said in a radio interview published Thursday.
“She’s supposed to be the next Ronda Rousey, judo girl,” the Brazilian said. It was unclear whether it was a statement or a question. “I don’t know if [Harrison] can take a punch.”
Harrison, who switched to MMA after repeating as Olympic judo champion in Rio, is 2-0 since debuting in the Professional Fighters League this summer.
Harrison has repeated in interviews that she wants to be the world’s best female fighter, and that would require beating Cyborg. Harrison said Justino is “considered the best, probably, pound-for-pound” female fighter ever.
Harrison brought up the idea that Justino could switch from UFC to PFL after her contract is up.
“I don’t think I’m ready yet [to fight Justino], but I know I will be,” Harrison said after an Aug. 17 TKO in her second fight, according to ESPN. “I’m not going to make guesses on the future, but I do know I will fight Cris Cyborg.”
Harrison is in PFL’s 155-pound division and will fight at least once more this year. Justino fights in UFC’s heaviest division, max 145 pounds.
Justino is 20-1 with one no contest since debuting in 2005. MMA fans and Dana White craved a fight between Cyborg and Ronda Rousey, Harrison’s former judo training partner, but it never happened.
White said they would have fought if Rousey won her last bout against Amanda Nunes on Dec. 30, 2016.
“I had a dream the other night that I was fighting Cyborg, and I got her in an arm bar and I broke her arm,” Harrison said in 2016, according to The New York Times. “But she wouldn’t tap, so I choked her unconscious.”
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