Olena Kolesnyk said she sees Larissa Pacheco more than some of her close relatives at the PFL 2023 Play-Offs media scrum on Wednesday in New York City. She was making light of the fact that this is the third time the two will face off in the PFL. The format, by design, makes that happen.
However, even though she has been on the losing side of their previous matchups, Kolesnykbelieves that, as Pacheco and Kayla Harrison’s history has shown, groundwork is being laid to solve the puzzle that is 2022 Champion Larissa Pacheco.
“We became closer and closer with each fight, and every fight shows me the opportunity on how with the next fight, I can win [beat] her.”
She said she even watched Pacheco’s other fights as the season went on, knowing that she can gather enough data to win against her should they meet again. While she sees the similarities between Pacheco and Harrison, she does not put any stock in luck or fate making this third match go her way on Friday. She only believes in herself, and the preparation with her team.
When asked if the Pacheco/Harrison similarity inspires her to win, she said that is not the case. “I take inspiration from the people that helped me for the fight, from my team, from my country. This is where I take my inspiration from.”
Being from Ukraine, she had more to say on what is transpiring in her homeland and you can see what she had to say in the full media scrum above.
Kolesnyk added, “Of course, Larissa’s a tough fighter, I have huge respect for her. So, I’m ready for this fight, let’s do it.”
Unfortunately, during morning weigh-ins Kolesnyk missed weight, the fight is still on but she forfeits 20% of her purse.
The winner moves on to the championship finals and the trilogy between them is part of the PFL 2023 Play-offs. MyMMANews is on-site for the event in Madison Square Garden, this Friday airing on ESPN & ESPN+. Keep it locked here for news and updates.
Edward holds a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and Bachelor’s degree in Communications. Along with over 30 years of martial arts experience, he co-hosts The Coast-2-Coast Combat Hour podcast, and also writes for Spectation Sports. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel