Kayla Harrison opens up on motherhood after adopting niece, nephew

    When Kayla Harrison enters the cage for the first time this season at 2021 PFL 3, she’ll do so with a newfound purpose. That’s because Harrison, the reigning PFL women’s lightweight champion from 2019, is now a mother.

    No, you didn’t miss any big news about her being pregnant. Harrison became a parent because she felt a responsibility to her family.

    “I became the guardian of my niece and nephew,” Harrison said.

    Harrison said that, in November 2019, the month before she won the title and $1 million prize in her first season, her mother had a stroke. At the time, Harrison’s mother had custody of her young niece and nephew, but with a tough recovery ahead, Harrison decided to step up.

    “I said, ‘Let me take them. I can do it,’” Harrison said. “When it’s do or die and it comes to that moment when sh*t gets real, who you gonna call? You call Kayla. That’s my job. That’s what I do. I rise to the occasion. I consider this no different. I’m gonna rise to the occasion for these kids and give them the best possible life I can.

    “I love them so much, and I so badly want to get it right for them. I thought I wanted to be the best (fighter) in the world so bad. Take that feeling and multiply it by a hundred thousand. That’s how I feel for these kids.”

    To hear more from Harrison on raising two kids and what it means for her fighting career, you can watch the video above.

    Harrison returns Thursday in the PFL 3 co-headliner against Mariana Morais at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. The event airs on ESPN following a prelim on ESPN+.

    This was originally published on

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