Kayla Harrison: Pay in WMMA Far Ahead of Other Women’s Sports

Jun 24, 2021

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The two-time Olympic gold medalist believes pay in women’s mixed martial arts is better than in other sports.

The Professional Fighters League 2021 Regular Season couldn’t have started better for PFL 2019 lightweight champion Kayla Harrison (9-0, 8-0 PFL) as she took out Mariana Morais with punches at the 1:23 mark in Round 1 at PFL 3. Right ahead of her clash with Cindy Dandois, she was asked to weigh in on the current situation of WMMA.

“Obviously, there is a little bit more opportunity right now for men than women,” she said while talking with Sherdog. “Women's MMA is much younger than men’s MMA, you know? We still have women who helped get the sport to where it is who are still fighting. The pioneers of this sport. That would be like Royce Gracie still fighting today. It’s still very new, WMMA, and it’s growing exponentially; every year there is a new killer. There are girls who are just training MMA now, and there is real athletes coming into the sport, not people who just picked up gloves a couple of years ago and said, ‘Oh, I want to try this.” This is going to be a real thing, and I think 10 years from now, where men’s MMA is, is where you’re going to see WMMA.”

She then addressed pay in WMMA, and she believes it looks pretty good compared to other sports.

“At one point, the highest-paid fighter in the world was a female. Not many sports can say that in the rest of the world. Women are always fighting for equal pay, they’re always fighting for equal opportunity. I think that while it’s not perfect, it’s getting better all the time.”

Tudor Leonte started writing about mixed martial arts in 2013 for Italian media outlets. His journey with Sherdog begun in 2018 and now he covers One Championship and countless European shows. You can follow him on Twitter @MrTudorLeonte.

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