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Kayla Harrison calls out Cris Cyborg after win over Aspen Ladd

  • Kayla Harrison calls out Cris Cyborg after points win over Aspen Ladd on comeback.

Kayla Harrison called out Cris Cyborg after her win over Aspen Ladd at the PFL world championships in Washington.

The American returned from a one-year absence to outclass Ladd and win a unanimous points decision on Friday.

The PFL acquired Bellator this week in a landmark deal and Harrison wants to fight their featherweight champion Cyborg.

“I heard there’s a girl in Bellator who thinks she’s bad. Well, why don’t we find out?” she said.

Brazil’s Cyborg, 38, has long been linked with a fight with Harrison but has said she expects to defend her Bellator title against Northern Ireland’s Leah McCourt in Belfast next.

Harrison, 33, a two-time PFL champion, was fighting for the first time since suffering her first pro defeat almost exactly a year ago.

The woman who delivered that loss in the final of the 2022 lightweight tournament, Larissa Pacheco, made PFL history at the world championships as she became the MMA promotion’s first two-weight champion.

Brazilian Pacheco’s win over Harrison a year ago to win the 2022 lightweight championship was a massive upset, and she has now added the featherweight title to her collection.

She beat Russia’s Marina Mokhnatkina on points and is also the PFL’s first female featherweight champion.

Elsewhere on the card at the Anthem venue, Canadian Olivier Aubin-Mercier won back-to-back lightweight championships in his win over Clay Collard, and Renan Ferreira stopped Denis Goltsov to win the heavyweight title.

Meanwhile, Russian Magomed Magomedkerimov submitted Sweden’s Sadibou Sy via guillotine choke to become welterweight champion, and former UFC fighter Impa Kasanganay is the new light heavyweight champion.

And Peru’s Jesus Pinedo claimed the featherweight title.

PFL announced on Monday that Bellator would continue on one-off shows but there would also be champion versus champion events in 2024.

While Bellator follows a traditional fight-by-fight format, the PFL run a league-based system with points gained in each fight before a season-ending final with a prize of $1m (£800,000).

Cyborg is the featherweight champion while Ryan Bader is Bellator’s heavyweight champion, Jason Jackson is the welterweight belt holder and unbeaten Russian Vadim Nemkov is the light-heavyweight champion.

PFL does not house the same weight classes as Bellator including middleweight, female flyweight and bantamweight, while Bellator does not have a female lightweight division.

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