Ali Abdelaziz: PFL's Kayla Harrison will be greatest female fighter of all time

When WSOF, later re-branded as PFL, announced the signing of Kayla Harrison, it was pretty much a consensus that it was a big get.

After all, despite what was then a 0-0 pro MMA record, it is not every day that you get a two-time Olympic judo champion in your roster.

Four professional fights and four wins later, though, just how valuable of a fighter does PFL have on their hands with Harrison?

Her manager, Ali Abdelaziz, has a pretty high estimation.

“I believe PFL has won a prize of the greatest woman of all time,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie Radio. “She’s only 4-0, right? I make a lot of predictions on these shows, right? I think 90 percent of my predictions come true, right?

“When it comes to fighting – you guys, we all understand fighting. But I feel fighting. I dream about fighting. I train with her, I train with guys. When Dana White came out and said, ‘Ronda Rousey can beat guys.’ No, no. Kayla Harrison can beat guys. I see Kayla Harrison knock guys out in the gym.”

Granted, Abdelaziz is a little biased considering he is talking about his client. But Harrison hasn’t exactly been slouching, either.

Beginning with her debut in June 2018, she earned finishes of her first three opponents. Harrison did go to the judges in her most recent outing, at PFL 2019’s season opener this past Friday, but she did get to take a dominant decision win over arguably her toughest foe yet in Larissa Pacheco.

According to the manager, Harrison wasn’t particularly excited about her first trip to the scorecards. But Abdelaziz, himself, was happy that she got to have that experience and did it dominantly, as well, against a UFC and “The Ultimate Fighter” alum who boasts over seven years of experience and 14 pro fights in her MMA career.

“She was upset about it; she beat herself up,” Abdelaziz said of Harrison. “I went to her in the back, I was like, ‘Why are you mad for? You got ring time, baby.’ We know she’s not going to gas. We know she’s not going to get tired. We know she’s not a frontrunner. She’s an absolute beast, and that’s why I say it: PFL has won the lottery.

“It was a lot of people in the running, but they can’t get Kayla, PFL did. … Because, guess what, I know Kayla, at the end of the season, she’s going to be a millionaire. And that’s what it’s all about; it’s about making money.

“For me, a lot of guys, ‘I want to go to the UFC.’ I say, listen, ‘What do you want? You want to make money? Or do you want just media? Choose.'”

Although all of Harrison fights have taken place under the PFL banner, her previous appearances were scheduled outside of the promotion’s inaugural season in 2018. This year, the promotion included a women’s bracket, and Harrison now has a chance to take home the $1 million dollar prize PFL gives to each category’s final winner.

That’s certainly not a bad addition to one’s bank account. But, speaking to speaking to MMA Junkie a few weeks ago, Harrison said that her motivation wasn’t simply the prize money, nor any outside factors, for that matter.

“Especially when you come from an Olympic background, you don’t do it to be famous, you don’t do it to be rich – you literally do it because you want to stand on top of a podium and have an object placed around your neck,” Harrison said. “You want to be known as the best in the world at what you do.”

For complete coverage of PFL 2019, Week 1, check out the MMA Events section of the site

MMA Junkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 8 p.m. ET (5 p.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia, Brian “Goze” Garcia and Dan Tom. For more information or to download past episodes, go to www.mmajunkie.com/radio. You can also check out www.siriusxm.com/siriusxmfightnation.

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