PFL Playoffs: Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian preview and prediction

Preview and prediction for Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian at PFL Playoffs 2.

The heavyweights and women’s lightweight combatants are next up for the 2021 PFL postseason, and it all goes down on Aug. 19. This time around, at PFL Playoffs 2, the featured attraction will be arguably the face of the promotion — defending women’s lightweight champ Kayla Harrison — taking on Genah Fabian in a semifinal matchup.

Harrison and Fabian were supposed to face off in the semifinals of the 2019 women’s lightweight playoffs until Fabian was forced to withdraw due to illness and issues with a botched weight cut.

Harrison scored victories over Larissa Pacheco and Morgan Frier in the 2019 regular season before dispatching Bobbi Jo Dalziel and Pacheco in the playoffs of that year to become the inaugural PFL women’s lightweight champion.

This season, Harrison scored first-round finishes of Mariana Morais and Cindy Dandois in the regular season.

Before withdrawing from the 2019 playoffs, Fabian dropped a decision to Dalziel but scored a first-round TKO of Moriel Charneski.

Fabian’s 2021 season saw her defeat Laura Sanchez by unanimous decision and Julija Pajic by second-round TKO.

Who will win at PFL Playoffs 2: Kayla Harrison or Genah Fabian?

Fabian will come into this bout with a four-inch height edge and eight-inch reach advantage. Harrison, however, has more MMA fights to her name and is, of course, a two-time Olympic gold medalist in judo.

Fabian is a skilled combat athlete herself as a champion in Muay Thai. And most of her professional MMA experience (minus the one MMA fight she had in 2015) has come in the PFL. But that’s where her “advantages” over Harrison seem to end.

Harrison has looked stronger and more impressive in 2021, wrecking through her regular-season opponents and being unafraid to make statements. She’s always had her grappling skills, but even striking has looked a bit better, and she seems to have really pieced things together.

Fabian and Pacheco may be the only real competition for Harrison in this division, but even then, Harrison just seems that much better. Really, this seems more like a question of how Harrison will get the win.

Fabian trains out of the great City Kickboxing gym, and she may be very prepared for Harrison’s grappling and submission attempts. But she still may be very well overwhelmed by Harrison’s striking, especially once Harrison gets on top and in control on the ground.

Prediction: Harrison via first-round KO/TKO

The PFL playoffs take place on Aug. 13, 19, and 27, live from the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, FL. Follow along with FanSided for all your live news and highlights.