Larissa Pacheco shocks the world with stunning upset to beat Kayla Harrison in PFL Championship main
Larissa Pacheco's stunning knock on Kayla Harrison on Friday at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater stunned everyone.
Pacheco (19-4) defeated Harrison (15-1) by unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47) in the 2022 PFL Championships main event to win the women's lightweight title and a $1 million prize. It was a major surprise to win. The average underdog for Pacheco at the top online sportsbooks was +529.
“It’s a culmination of a career,” Pacheco said following her upset win. “A culmination of a dream. It means the world to me.”
Harrison was the only one in the opening round. She immediately showed off her superb grapple and powerful dominant play. However, situations became a little more intriguing in Round 2. Harrison encountered difficulty, maybe more so than in any other round of her career.
In her pursuit of Harrison, Pacheco was successful both in the air and on the ground. Harrison did not react well to Pacheco's powerful punches, which were landed with force. Soon after, Pacheco attempted to choke Harrison, but Harrison countered and took the side control.
In Round 3, Harrison faced more difficulties. After Harrison skillfully forced the battle to the ground, Pacheco threw up a tight-looking triangle. But there was a problem with the placing of the arms, and Harrison got away. Pacheco tried to get up, exhausted, but Harrison mounted her. Harrison won the round, but Pacheco prevailed.
The judges' scorecards might go anyway because the championship rounds were the closest of all. Harrison's stamina burnt more quickly than Pacheco's as the bout went on. The distinction became clear.
Even though Harrison was able to stop much of Pacheco's onslaught, especially errant and overused body kicks. At one time, Pacheco took charge of Harrison's back. Harrison emerged victorious from the melee, while Pacheco was still in motion on her back.
The 2022 PFL Championships' main event was the third meeting between the two warriors. Harrison had previously won both. The first took place during the regular season of 2019 and was a unanimous choice. The 2019 PFL Championships' main event came in second. Harrison won against Pacheco by unanimous decision in that bout to win her first significant promotional championship.
“This belt just motivates me to work even harder,” Pacheco said. “I’ve got a lot more to do in this sport.
“Just like Kayla said before, I’ve always made her a better competitor while she’s always made me a better competitor and she drove me to this moment right now.”
The outcome will undoubtedly change the PFL going into 2023 as Pacheco won the lightweight championship while Harrison previously declared she will not participate in another competition. The promotion will almost certainly try to match these two together again in the not-too-distant future considering the stakes in this battle.
In the post-fight conference, Larissa kept the door open for the fourth meeting inside the cage with Kayla Harrison whenever she feels strong and confident. The Brazilian hopes a better comeback from Kayla in the next meet up. During her talk, he expressed that she was confident of pulling a stunner against the former Olympian medalist.
“I already knew it was going to be an upset,” Pacheco told reporters through an interpreter at the post-fight news conference (via MMA Sucka). “I came here ready to screw with everyone’s bets and put on one hell of a fight.”