Kayla Harrison says she happily resigned with PFL -- but only after company execs proved they were serious about making a super fight with Cris Cyborg, the undefeated MMA star tells TMZ Sports.
31-year-old Harrison -- a 2x PFL tourney winner -- has made it clear she wants to fight the best (think Cyborg and Amanda Nunes) ... so when Kayla recently hit the free-agent market, she talked to Bellator and UFC.
But, the 12-0 fighter says the PFL bosses convinced her they could put together a Harrison-Cyborg fight in the near future.
"PFL and I talked in depth about that and they let me know in no uncertain terms that they are gonna -- Cyborg only has two fights left on her contract, but also I know that they're very open to talking with Bellator," Harrison tells us.
"They're very open to co-promoting, cross-promoting, streaming, Pay Per Viewing, CBS, ESPN, they're open to all of it."
36-year-old Cyborg -- who's only lost twice since turning pro in 2005 -- is laying her title on the line, fighting Arlene Blencowe at Bellator 279 in April. But, after that, it's clear Kayla believes there's a path to make the fight.
And, Harrison, a 2x Olympic gold medalist, believes she's ready ... and has been for some time.
"To be frank, honestly, and blunt, I am ready now to test myself. I feel like I've been held back by my coaches, by my advisors for a while. I've been ready, I've been chomping at the bit, I've been ready to go out there and test myself."
Along with the new deal comes a whole bunch of money, too (PFL described it as a “historic new contract”). But, Kayla says the cash comes second to her legacy.
"After talking to [PFL Founder] Donn Davis, I do feel really hopeful. I think that he really wants to make the [Cyborg] fight happen. I think that's he's innovative, I think that he knows that this is very important to me."
"My legacy is, I would argue more important to me than money."