Larissa Pacheco wins trilogy with Kayla Harrison in all-out war, claims PFL lightweight championship at PFL 10

PFL 10: Championships at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York, New York, Friday, Nov. 25, 2022. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Larissa Pacheco wins trilogy with Kayla Harrison in all-out war, claims PFL lightweight championship at PFL 10

The Professional Fighters League returned to us tonight, November 25, 2022, for PFL 10: The Richest Night in Mixed Martial Arts.

Headlining the event was a women’s lightweight championship bout showcasing two-time champion Kayla Harrison (15-0), who faced Larissa Pacheco (18-4) for the third time tonight in the main event of the evening.

Harrison has been perfect thus far into her career having never tasted defeat; she’d never even lost a single round. Of her 15 wins, only three came via decision, including both over Pacheco.

On the contrary, Pacheco came into tonight’s main event on a five-fight win streak, having secured all five wins via first round knockout. The only other two defeats of her career came in the UFC, both of which came against future, now former UFC champions.

No PFL fighter has ever won the tournament championship three years in a row: Lance Palmer, Ray Cooper III, Natan Schulte, all of them won it in back-to-back seasons, but couldn’t do it for a third straight time.

Continue reading to see how this lightweight championship trilogy went down:

Official Result: Larissa Pacheco def. Kayla Harrison via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)

Pacheco looks absolutely massive going into this bout. Harrison shoots on a double leg takedown that fails, before securing a beautiful trip immediately following. She remains in the guard of the Brazilian reigning down heavy punches.

Harrison lands some nice punches at the beginning of round two, but Pacheco pulls away as the round goes on. She forces some desperation shots out of the Olympic champion and begins to bust her up later on in the round. Pacheco also snaps Harrison down and wraps her up in an anaconda choke, though was unable to secure it.

Pacheco has certainly made this a fight; Harrison secures a single leg takedown to begin round three, and as Harrison settles in her guard, Pacheco lands a number of hammerfists from the bottom. Pacheco then throws up her legs and locks in a triangle choke, and it looked like Harrison may suffer the first defeat of her career for a moment.

However, she eventually works her way out by posturing up and soon after secures mount where she finishes the round in dominant position. This has been the best fight between these two by far.

Harrison secures an early double leg one minute into the fourth, but doesn’t stay on top for long.

After a reshot, Pacheco ends up taking her back, though they’re quickly back to their feet. After some more grappling along the fence with Harrison pursuing a takedown, she ends up on her back once again with Pacheco in her side control.

Harrison is very good at getting back to her feet though, she’s done so every time regardless of how tired she is.

After strenuous failed takedown attempts to begin the fifth and final round, Pacheco is reigning down heavy hammerfists to the defending champion, who soon ends up on her back once again as Pacheco soon takes her back.

Harrison spins out of it once again however and ends the fight on bottom considering. This was by far the toughest test of Harrison’s career, Pacheco really brought it tonight.

Larissa Pacheco becomes the first woman to defeat Kayla Harrison tonight at PFL 10, securing one of the biggest MMA upsets of all-time as she becomes the PFL women’s lightweight champion.

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Brady Ordway
I became a fan of combat sports when I was 12 years old. I was scrolling through the channels and landed upon Versus, where WEC was televised. Urijah Faber fought Jens Pulver for the second time that night. That's the first fight I ever saw, and I was immediately hooked. So eventually, I began covering the sport in the fourth quarter of 2018, and have since started writing about animals as well. If you'd like to see those pieces, be sure to check out!