HOLLYWOOD, Fla. – Despite being just four fights into her MMA career, Taylor Guardado is getting a lot of attention from the MMA world – and it’s not all good.

The PFL women’s lightweight is set to compete in the promotion’s final for 2021 against two-time Olympic judo gold medalist and rising MMA star Kayla Harrison. Guardado and Harrison will meet Oct. 27 in Hollywood, Fla., as part of the headlining act of the 2021 PFL Championship event. A $1 million prize and the women’s lightweight title will be on the line.

It’s a giant fight for Guardado (3-1), who’s been fighting professionally for less than two years. She entered the PFL women’s lightweight season as an alternate and now finds herself in the final.

Guardado is enjoying the spotlight despite it coming so soon in her young career. She likes doing the media and sees it as a reminder of how far she’s come and how much she’s achieved in little time. But there’s an ugly side with all the extra attention that brews on social media.

“Thank you to those who leave terrible messages on my Instagram because those are fun to laugh at,” Guardado told MMA Junkie. “Oh my gosh, there’s some telling me that I’m going to get smashed and I’m going to look like an idiot. I literally just screenshot it and send it to my friends. Everyone is laughing at you.”

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Guardado expects to be an underdog against Harrison, but doesn’t necessarily understand why that translates into hateful messages from fans.

“I think it’s because they know that they can never do this,” Guardado explained. “They know they can’t step up and have the drive and the work ethic to do something like this. They’re jealous, and they’re embarrassed of their own lives, but I’m not entirely sure. I’ve never been in that position, so I can’t really say. But it’s a dumb look. Don’t do it.”

The 30-year-old doesn’t mind the underdog role she’ll have to play against Harrison. In fact, she enjoys entering fights regardless of who she’s facing with an underdog mentality.

“I know that I’m a huge underdog for this one and that’s fine, that’s not a big deal,” Guardado said. “I’ve actually gone into every fight thinking I’m the underdog and then usually my coach tells me, ‘Hey, actually you weren’t the underdog in this one,’ and that’s pretty cool. But I think having the underdog mentality makes you a little more gritty, a little more ready to go.”


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