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Kayla Harrison Disputes Notion That She Won’t React Well to Being Hit in PFL Final

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While it didn’t surface in their two previous bouts, it’s common knowledge that the great equalizer for Larissa Pacheco in her third meeting with Kayla Harrison is her knockout power.

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Pacheco is currently in the midst of a five-bout winning streak in Professional Fighters League competition, with all of her victories coming via knockout or technical knockout. Harrison disputes the idea that she won’t respond well if Pacheco connects with something significant when they square off for the women’s lightweight title at the PFL Championships on Friday.

“Just because you don’t see me get hit in a fight, doesn’t mean I don’t get hit,” Harrison said at a press conference on Wednesday. “I train hard. I train harder than pretty much anyone I know. I put in the work so that on fight night it looks easy. I get hit. I’m not worried about getting hit. I’m gonna go out there and instill my will one round at a time, one minute at a time, one exchange at a time, one breath at a time. And I’m gonna break her.”

Pacheco went the distance in both previous fights against Harrison, including a five-round unanimous decision defeat in the 2019 PFL final. While the Brazilian’s impressive streak has made her an interesting potential rival for the two-time Olympic gold medalist, the fact remains that she hasn’t been competitive in eight rounds against Harrison thus far.

“Can you call it a rivalry if you’ve never won a round?” Harrison quipped. “I don’t know if that’s fair. I don’t want to put that kind of pressure on Larissa. She has nothing to lose.”

With that said, Harrison works hard to stay motivated, even as she prepares to face an opponent that she has dominated in the past.

“I think for me it’s always been about staying humble and staying hungry,” Harrison said. “I know that she’s young, she’s hungry and she’s a killer in her own right. She’s got nothing to lose and she’s coming to take my head off. I think about that every time I maybe don’t want to train, or don’t want to go for a run or want to sleep in. I think about that. I stay a dog. I stay working harder. I stay grinding because she’s coming for me. If I’m not completely prepared and I make a mistake, she’s gonna capitalize.

“It’s my job to be the best version of Kayla Harrison on Friday night.”

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