MIAMI – With a stable of stars and champions as Dominance MMA clients, manager Ali Abdelaziz found himself in new territory with Kayla Harrison for the past several months.
That’s because, according to Abdelaziz, Harrison was his first fighter ever to test free agency. After winning her second consecutive PFL women’s lightweight tournament last year, the two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka decided to weigh her options once her contract was completed.
Harrison (12-0) ended up re-signing with the PFL, which matched a lucrative offer from Bellator.
“PFL has always been a great partner,” Abdelaziz told MMA Junkie. “I never take a fighter to free agency in my life. That was my first time ever. It was brutal. It was tough. It was hard. It’s like I wanted to be respectful to everybody. I want to give a big shoutout to Mike Kogan, Scott Coker, Bellator. PFL allowed us to go to free agency, we went to free agency, (and) that came with an unbelievable offer.”
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Abdelaziz explained that his first experience dealing with free agency was not easy, but he’s happy it happened.
“I didn’t think PFL could match it, but honestly, PFL stepped up,” Abdelaziz said. “Pete Murray, Donn Davis, PFL have stepped up in a big way. They matched the offer, and it was not bad of an idea to become a free agent. I’m always scared about it. First time in my 20 years in management career, I did it. It paid off.”
He continued, “Kayla’s now gonna be in the 2022 season, she’s gonna run through everybody like she always does. It doesn’t matter who she’s gonna fight. I believe she is the best female combat athlete right now – in boxing, in MMA, and she’s the most dominant. She cannot be touched. This woman, nobody even hit her. I believe none of these women out there inside PFL, UFC, Bellator, anybody can touch her.”
According to PFL, Harrison signed a “historic new contract,” which Abdelaziz said makes her the top-three highest earners in MMA.
“Kayla is the highest (paid) female fighter ever,” Abdelaziz said. “I know Adesanya say this, Masvidal say this. The highest-paid male fighter in the UFC is Conor McGregor. No. 2 is Kamaru Usman. Everybody else – I guarantee you Kayla Harrison makes more money than these other two guys I just mentioned. I guarantee you.”
Photos: Kayla Harrison through the years
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