Larissa Pacheco served up a million-dollar stunner Friday night at Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, taking a unanimous decision over two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison for the 2022 women’s lightweight title.
After coming out on the wrong end of two previous fights with Harrison in 2019 — including that season’s championship — Pacheco found a way to carry her fearsome punching power deep into the five-round championship trilogy fight, carrying her to the $1 million prize all division winners claimed at the PFL World Championship event.
Pacheco, whose only losses beyond Harrison came early in her career in the UFC against future champions Jessica Andrade and Germaine de Randamie, was at least a +500 underdog coming into the fight against previously unbeaten Harrison, the star of the organization and headlining fighter for PFL’s first foray into pay-per-view.
PFL also crowned five men’s champions during the event.
Brendan Loughnane chewed up Bubba Jenkins’ lead leg with kicks before putting him away with heavy hands at 2:38 of the fourth-round via TKO. The run to the featherweight crown completed an underdog story for England’s Loughnane, who three years ago was infamously not given a UFC contract on “Dana White’s Contender Series” because he shot for a takedown late in his victory on the show. Including Friday’s victory, he’s gone 8-1 since then after PFL scooped him up.
Heavyweight Ante Delija took advantage of his second straight berth in the PFL finals with a first-round TKO of Matheus Scheffel at the 2:50 mark. Delija lost via decision to Bruno Cappelozza, who was forced out of these playoffs due to injury, last year.
In a battle of longtime UFC lightweights, Olivier Aubin-Mercier knocked out former teammate Stevie Ray at 4:40 of round two. In 2019, Aubin-Mercier was let go after three straight decision victories against the likes of current UFC contenders Arman Tsarukyan and Gilbert Burns. He’s now 6-0 with PFL and recorded his first finish with the organization.
A snoozer of a welterweight final went the way of Sadibou Sy, who took a unanimous decision against Dilano Taylor.
That came on the heels of a thrilling, bloody victory for Rob Wilkinson in the light heavyweight division. He pounded Omari Akhmedov for two rounds before the cageside doctor waived it off before the start of the third.