Kayla Harrison is set to face Genah Fabian in the PFL 2021 playoffs this Thursday as she seeks to defend her PFL lightweight title and get one step closer to becoming a back-to-back tournament champion.
During a media call yesterday Harrison and Fabian were fielding questions about the fight. However, one interviewer decided to talk about Fabian’s looks ahead of her fighting her ability.
“I got a question for Gina,” said the reporter—mispronouncing Fabian’s first name. “Big fan of yours, everything like that, don’t take it the wrong way, but you’re a pretty woman, not just a pretty woman, you can fight pretty well good, too.”
As Harrison recoiled from shock and annoyance at the question the interviewer continued to ask Fabian if she would be the aggressor in the forthcoming fight or if she would “wait around and get killed”.
Fabian then corrected the reporter on the pronunciation of her name and gave an answer to his question, stating that she was trusting a smart game-plan heading into the fight with Harrison.
After Fabian had responded, the interviewer then turned their attention to Harrison asking if she would prefer a quick finish or a dominating decision. “It doesn’t matter,” offered Harrison with no further clarification. Once that was out the way she let the interviewer know the his previous question was way out of line.
“Hey, I got a question for you,” she asked. “If you were interviewing a guy, would you say to him—after pronouncing his name wrong—would you say, ‘Hey, by the way, you’re a really handsome guy, you know, but oh, you can fight, too.’ Would you say that to a guy?”
After the interviewer paused and offered only an “umm” in response, Harrison fired back.
“No. You just base how you talk to them based off of their skill and based off of them as a human being. Not, ‘Oh, you’re a beautiful man. I mean that’s pretty disrespectful. She’s a professional.”
The interviewer then stumbled through an apology and said his question was somehow related to the idea that “some people don’t like to get hit in this sport.” Harrison shut down that explanation, exclaiming, “Nobody wants to get hit!”
A two-time Olympic gold medallist in judo, Harrison has looked flawless since switching codes in 2018. She’s won all 10 of her pro fights (9 with PFL and 1 with Invicta) and only gone to a decision twice, most recently in the PFL 2019 lightweight championship finale versus Larissa Pacheco.
Last time out, against Cindy Dandois at PFL 6, she won by a first round armbar submission.
Fabian is a member of Auckland’s City Kickboxing gym. She’s a former Muay Thai champion who has a 4-1 MMA record. At PFL 6 she beat Julija Pajic by TKO.