Kayla Harrison suggests interim title fight vs. Julianna Peña if UFC champ Raquel Pennington injured

Kayla Harrison is ready to fight for a UFC title – even if it’s got an interim tag attached to it.

Harrison (17-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC) impressed in her octagon debut when she ran through former champion Holly Holm for a second-round submission Saturday at UFC 300.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka and former PFL champion said she’s heard rumblings that UFC bantamweight champ Raquel Pennington is injured. So in the meantime, Harrison has a proposition: She believes Julianna Pena (11-5 MMA, 7-3 UFC) would make for a great interim title fight June 29 at UFC 303.

“I heard that ‘Rocky’s’ hurt all of the sudden, so if she can’t fight right now, I’m happy to fight whoever this summer for a title,” Harrison said on “The MMA Hour.” “Why not just an interim title? Then I’ll unify it. Then I’ll fight Amanda (Nunes). If it’s for a title, I will make myself available. I would love (UFC 303). F*ck it, my time is now. I like the sound of that (Harrison vs. Peña). There would be some good sh*t talking from me.”

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Pennington shut down that idea instantly.

“Interim title??? She needs to calm down,” Pennington said. “I’ve already discussed a timeframe for a title defense later this year.”

Former double champ Amanda Nunes, who is currently retired, was surprised that ex-American Top Team training partner Harrison didn’t call her out. Harrison said she finds it pointless to go after someone who isn’t active and explains where things went south between Nunes and ATT.

“I think that Amanda’s worst enemy is her own mind,” Harrison said. “She got it in her head that I was coming for her. I think after she lost to Julianna, she thought that I was going to get in the cage that night and challenge her, which was not true, not the case, not even near true. She thought everyone on the team was against her.

“Again, not true, not the case. Actually everyone on the team was doing their best to keep us in separate organizations even though I wanted to go. I was like, ‘I’m out, let’s go.’ I think there was still 145. I was like, come on, let’s do this. I think it just left a bad taste in her own mind, this not true image of what was happening behind the scenes.”

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Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie