For the only time in the 2021 PFL postseason, a card comes your way on a Thursday this week as Miami’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino plays host to PFL 8, featuring semifinal fights in the women’s lightweight and heavyweight ranks.
As with all fights during PFL 8, this contest will be a maximum of three rounds at five minutes per round to close the show in the Sunshine State.
PFL 8 Women’s Lightweight Semifinal Fighter Comparison
Going into this contest during PFL 8 on Thursday night, Fabian is the taller woman, standing six feet even, with Harrison standing 5-foot-8.
Additionally, Fabian owns an eight-inch reach advantage (74 inches to 66 inches), with Harrison owning a three-inch leg reach advantage (41 inches to 38 inches) heading into Thursday night’s bout.
Kayla Harrison Facing Impending Free Agency
Harrison has yet to lose in her MMA career going into PFL 8, most recently locking in a first-round armbar submission against Cindy Dandois during the PFL 6 main event in June. Although the victory was quick enough to secure the maximum of 12 points in the standings for the regular season, it came too late to secure the top seed in the playoffs.
She’s facing an uncertain future in the sport of MMA, as she will enter the free-agent wire later this year, which will continue to be a storyline for the duration of the postseason.
Earlier this year, Harrison commented on the rumors of a possible pact with the UFC when her PFL deal expires following the 2021 season.
“I think that if Dana’s ready to pay me a lot of money, I’ll make him a lot of money,” Harrison said.
This remark came after UFC President Dana White mentioned that he wasn’t keen on welcoming Harrison to the world’s top MMA promotion.
“I don’t know if she’s ready,” White said. “When she feels like she’s ready, I’m always looking for the best possible people to come in and fight. We’ve offered her to come over; I don’t know if her people think she’s ready yet. It’s a whole other level when you get here.”
Genah Fabian Preps for Extended Stay in the United States Amid COVID Protocols in New Zealand
In the other corner, Fabian has gone 4-1 in her MMA career, scoring a second-round knockout due to ground and pound shots against Julija Pajic during PFL 6 in June, securing the #3 seed in the playoffs in the process.
A key storyline here is her extended stay in the United States after the fight at PFL 8.
According to COVID-19 safety protocols in Fabian’s native New Zealand, international travelers are required to self-isolate for 14 days upon returning home.
Due to preexisting requests for tickets back home, Fabian still hasn’t received her pass for a return trip and now faces a prolonged stay in America, one expected to last through at least December.
Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction
Stylistically, this contest at PFL 8 seems to favor Kayla Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in Judo, with Genah Fabian subscribing to kickboxing.
Kayla Harrison is Vicious on the Ground
If you’ve watched Harrison fight before, you know that she can be a deadly fighter when she gets her opponent on the ground, something that Cindy Dandois found out firsthand back in June. That night, she grappled with Dandois briefly before she returned to her feet.
From there, Harrison dropped down and established top mount position, putting on the needed torque to secure the armbar and hyperextend Dandois’ elbow in the process.
If Harrison can pounce on Fabian here as she did with Dandois, it could be good night early in this main event.
But Don’t Discount Fabian
Fabian is known to be equally nasty on the ground, as was illustrated in her last fight in June, when she landed a head kick to stun Pajic before dropping her with a vicious left hook, closing the show with a flurry of ground and pound shots.
If Fabian can land that head kick and the left hook, this fight at PFL 8 will be a short one.
Expect violence of the highest order during PFL 8, and as with any Kayla Harrison fight, don’t make the fridge run during the contest.
Prediction: Kayla Harrison by Unanimous Decision.
Featured Image Credits To PFL MMA