It’s only been three years since she made her MMA debut, but Kayla Harrison has so far made a strong statement. Last week, the 30-year-old two-time Olympic gold medalist extended her undefeated streak to 9-0 when she defeated former Invicta fighter Mariani Morais via first-round TKO.
But even with such an impressive run, UFC president Dana White remains unsure about signing the 2019 women’s lightweight champion. During a recent conversation with TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter, he gave his reasons.
“I don’t know if she’s ready,” White said.
“I’m always looking for the best possible people to come in and fight. If you think that we’ve offered for her to come over, I just don’t know if her people think she’s ready yet.
White went on to drop names of top female athletes at both featherweight and bantamweight that Harrison will be up against.
“It’s a whole ‘nother level when you get here. Amanda, Germaine, Holly, Aspen Ladd. You’ve got Julianna Peña. The list goes on and on. So it’s a lot tougher when you come over here so I don’t know if they think she’s ready or not yet. But we’ll find out.”
The UFC has yet to open a women’s 155-pound division, and it likely won’t happen any time soon. Its heaviest female division is currently on shaky ground because of a lack of competition for its reigning champion Amanda Nunes.