Kayla Harrison had a great start to the PFL 2021 women's lightweight season on Thursday night.
Harrison finished Mariana Morais via TKO at the 1:23 mark of the first round during the PFL 3 co-main event at Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The defending PFL champion earned six points under the promotion's season format with the victory and moved into second place in the women's lightweight standings.
"This isn't a tournament. It's a coronation, and I'm the queen, OK?" Harrison said in her post-fight interview. "I'm not one to talk a lot of crap. It's not really part of who I am. But it seems like everybody from boxers to YouTube idiots think they can get in there, and that's just not the case.
"From now on, I'm the baddest woman in this room, and in any room," she added.
Harrison, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo, got Morais to the ground just 45 seconds into the bout. Within moments, Harrison advanced to full mount and began pummeling her opponent with heavy ground-and-pound shots. Morais gave up her back and covered up, forcing the referee to wave off the contest.
The win extends Harrison's professional MMA record to 9-0. The 30-year-old is one of the top prospects in women's MMA - she won the PFL women's lightweight season in 2019 and is looking to become a repeat champion in this year's tournament.
Morais fell to 16-11 as a pro and saw her three-fight winning streak come to an end in what was also her PFL debut.