Harrison’s 1st 2023 fight against Budd Nov. 24

Kayla Harrison will make her first appearance of 2023 against Julia Budd on Nov. 24 in Washington D.C.

Harrison (15-1) will face former Bellator MMA champion Julia Budd (17-6) in a non-title featherweight matchup, officials announced on Wednesday. The bout will take place on the same card as the 2023 PFL Championships from The Anthem in Washington D.C.

A two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo and two-time PFL champion, Harrison suffered the first loss of her career to Larissa Pacheco in last year’s PFL Finals. The PFL attempted to sign Cris Cyborg for a pay-per-view fight against Harrison this year, but Cyborg ultimately signed a new deal with Bellator, which left Harrison without an obvious opponent.

The 33-year-old will now face Canada’s Budd, who has been fighting professionally since 2010. Budd has fought for almost every major MMA promotion except for the UFC, including PFL, Bellator, Invicta FC and Strikeforce. She won Bellator’s 145-pound championship in 2017 and defended it three times before suffering a TKO loss to Cyborg in 2020.

Harrison has competed primarily at 155 pounds during her MMA career, but has shown a willingness to make 145 in order to secure certain fights.

Tickets for the event go on sale on Sept. 20. The PFL Finals will feature finalists from six different weight classes, with the winner of each division earning a $1 million purse. Pacheco, who Harrison beat twice in 2019 before losing to her last year, is in the featherweight finals this year against Marina Mokhnatkina.

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