Kayla Harrison is in for a change of scenery. At least temporarily.
The PFL women’s lightweight champion will compete at Invicta FC 43 on Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Kansas, PFL announced Monday. The opponent will be Courtney King and Harrison will move down to featherweight — 145 pounds — to fight her.
Harrison will return to PFL in 2021 when the organization launches its next season.
This year, PFL did not hold a full season – or any events – due to COVID-19 and Harrison, a former two-time Olympic judo gold medalist, has been itching to fight.
“I have been on a mission to show I am the best fighter,” Harrison said in a statement. “I have been tackling challenges my entire career and this bout at 145-pounds is a new and exciting one for me. I’m looking forward to competing in this new weight class and can’t wait to get back into the PFL cage come April.”
In October, an attorney representing Harrison and PFL featherweight champion Lance Palmer, Harley Breite, told ESPN that a plan was in place to file a lawsuit against PFL because both fighters wanted to compete. Breite told ESPN on Monday that Harrison fighting for Invicta does not change that plan. Harrison and Palmer would also seek back wages in court, because they have not competed at all in 2020 up to this point.
“This outrageous disparity in treatment of athletes and continued rudeness and unprofessionalism will now be dealt with in the legal system,” Breite said.
Harrison (7-0) has fought every fight in her professional career, which began in 2018, for PFL. Last year, the Ohio native, who trains at American Top Team in Florida, rolled through the PFL season, playoffs and final with a 4-0 record. Harrison, 30, beat Larissa Pacheco in the championship fight on Dec. 31 via unanimous decision.
King (4-1), a 27-year-old Colorado resident, has won three straight, two of those by submission finish.
Harrison vs. King will act as the Invicta 43 co-main event. A strawweight title fight between Emily Ducote and Montserrat “Conejo” Ruiz will headline the card.