Kayla Harrison left the cage, her head sank and tears welled up in her eyes. She stopped to hug one of her coaches, and then her manager, Ali Abdelaziz, escorted her backstage with his arm slung over her shoulder.

For those who watched the 20-second clip on social media, it looked like Harrison had suffered her first professional defeat in mixed martial arts. That's not what happened. In fact, Harrison won the fight against Larissa Pacheco by unanimous decision to open the PFL season in May. But she didn't get what she really wanted: a finish.

It was in that moment when the PFL brass sitting cageside knew exactly what they had in Harrison, the 29-year-old Ohio native and former two-time Olympic champion in judo.

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