Kayla Harrison may not have won $1 million at the Professional Fighters League Championships on Monday -- but it feels like that's only a matter of time.
Harrison (3-0) claimed an easy TKO victory against Moriel Charneski at the 3:39 mark of the first round. The lightweight bout took place on the main card of PFL 11: Championship inside New York's Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
The other six winners on the main card took home $1 million under the PFL's regular-season and playoffs format. The PFL did not promote a female season in 2018, but that will change next year. The organization already has announced plans for a 155-pound women's division.
"There's no greater high in the world than stepping in a cage and trying to kick the crap out of somebody," Harrison said. "I'm honored the PFL is starting a 155 division. They put their trust in me and I've got strong shoulders. Next year, I'm going to be a millionaire."
A two-time Olympic gold medalist for the U.S. in judo, Harrison landed a few knees to the body of Charneski (3-5) in the opening seconds, before throwing her to the ground and moving to full mount. Charneski did what she could defensively from there, and even escaped the position momentarily, but she was clearly overmatched.
After flirting with an armbar attempt, Harrison took Charneski's back, flattened her out and finished the bout with strikes to the side of the head. Immediately after the fight, Harrison admitted she intended to work on her striking but fell back to her bread and butter.
"Gosh darn it. I'm trying to not be a judo player in a cage," Harrison said. "When you do something for 20 years, sometimes old habits are hard to break. I wanted to come out and work my striking. I want to be well-rounded. But a couple throws are all right, right guys?"
Fighting out of American Top Team in Coconut Creek, Florida, Harrison went 3-0 in 2018. She made her debut at PFL 2 in June, and has finished all three of the opponents she has faced. Prior to Monday, Charneski, of Austin, Texas, had never been finished in an MMA fight.