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    Kayla Harrison ‘not super pumped’ about Cindy Dandois matchup – but nothing to do with fighting

    COCONUT CREEK, Fla. – Kayla Harrison has an upcoming headlining spot that she’s not entirely thrilled about. It’s against Cindy Dandois on June 25 at PFL 6, and the reigning women’s lightweight champion has come clean about how she feels.

    “Well, to be honest, I was not super pumped about it,” Harrison told MMA Junkie. “This is the one girl I didn’t want to fight – not stylistically or anything. I listened to an interview that she did where, I don’t know, she has six kids, and her mom just died of cancer, and this is her last hurrah. And I was like, ‘Damn, I really don’t want to put the nail in the coffin.’”

    In an interview with FanSided prior to her PFL 3 fight with Kaitlin Young, Dandois was emotional when speaking about recent happenings in her personal life. Dandois, who indicated her PFL fights will signal the end of her career, expressed being grateful that her mother lived long enough to see her give birth to her sixth child. Not long afterward, Dandois’ mother lost her battle with cancer. After that, Dandois said her grandmother also died, which hit her “like a hammer.”

    Leaving her native Belgium to quarantine in the U.S. for two weeks before her fight, that was not easy to do under these circumstances.

    “It was hard, but if you want something in this life, to the depths, the deeper you fall … you cannot go deeper anymore,” Dandois said before PFL 3. “There’s only a way up. And I plan to climb those stairs. I’ll do whatever I can to make this last run a success.”

    Dandois (16-6) went on to lose a unanimous decision to Young on May 6, and now she has to face Harrison – who clearly has sympathy for Dandois but won’t let her feelings get in the way.

    “It is what it is,” Harrison said. “I’m not in charge of the matchups, I’m not in charge of matchmaking, so it’s time to go out there and do business.”

    Harrison, the two-time Olympic judoka champion who remains undefeated in MMA at 9-0, made quick work of Mariana Moraes at PFL 3. After winning by first-round TKO in just 1:23, Harrison was vocal that she wanted to be paired with someone coming off of a win, but she got Dandois instead.

    As much as she feels bad about it, she’ll said she’ll handle things as needed.

    “Obviously I did want to fight someone who was coming off of a win. I said that,” Harrison said. “And I didn’t want to fight her just because of some of the personal stuff that I’ve read about her. I definitely have not been getting any of the things I’ve asked for. I’m not surprised.”

    Harrison continued, “She’s a game opponent. She’s a veteran. She has a really good winning record. I think that she’s also a judoka so people are like, ‘Oh, she’s gonna stop your throws.’ Which I say good luck. It’s just another fight, another step on the path to my goals.”

    This was originally published on www.mmajunkie.com

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