2023 PFL World Championship Results

The PFL World Championship final took place, culminating in the crowning of champions across all six weight divisions.

The main event featured a showdown between Olivier Aubin-Mercier, the previous year’s men’s lightweight champion, and Clay Collard. Aubin-Mercier displayed his dominance, taking Collard down on the ground for extended periods during the first few rounds. As the third round commenced, Collard seemed to gain energy, in contrast to a visibly tiring Aubin-Mercier. The latter, however, reasserted his dominance in the final round, swiftly achieving a takedown and securing a unanimous 49-46 score from all the judges.

In chief support, Renan Ferreira, who reached the heavyweight semi-finals last year, clinched his first PFL championship with a second-round technical knockout by stunning Denis Goltsov, a two-time semifinalist. In the first round, Ferreira found himself overwhelmed. Just a minute into the fight, Goltsov executed a takedown. With both fighters on the ground for the entirety of the round, Goltsov dominated Ferreira. However, the latter made a remarkable comeback in the second round, using powerful right hands to bring down Goltsov. This led to a decisive ground-and-pound attack, culminating in a finish just 26 seconds into the round.

Elsewhere, Larissa Pacheco, the 2022 women’s lightweight champion, secured a unanimous-decision victory over Marina Mokhnatkina in a featherweight title bout. Towards the end of the first round, Mokhnatkina’s near-successful kneebar submission attempt briefly suggested an upset might be in the making. However, for the rest of the fight, Pacheco dominated, consistently delivering powerful strikes both standing and through ground-and-pound tactics to take a win on the scorecards: 49-46, 49-46, 49-46. The win meant Pacheco became the first athlete in the promotion to claim titles in two different divisions.

In addition, Impa Kasanganay defeated Josh Silveira to become the light heavyweight champion. Throughout the fight, Kasanganay was in command against Silveira, effectively landing strikes and thwarting almost all of Silveira’s attempts to take the fight to the ground. Kasanganay skillfully controlled the fight in a unanimous-decision victory: 50-45, 50-45, 50-45.

Furthermore, Jesus Pinedo stopped Gabriel Braga to become the featherweight champion. Pinedo’s right hook connected solidly with Braga’s cheek, which left the latter reeling, leading to his first career defeat via a third-round TKO. However, the fight’s conclusion sparked some controversy. Pinedo’s left hook was quickly followed by a flying knee that struck Braga’s chin. As Braga defended himself, Pinedo unleashed a barrage of strikes, leading to an arguably early stoppage. But in truth, the writing was on the wall.

The last title fight involved a welterweight clash featuring Magomed Magomedkerimov and Sadibou Sy. The decisive moment in the fight occurred when Sy attempted a takedown, only for Magomedkerimov to secure a guillotine choke, leading to a submission in the third round. The victory secured Magomedkerimov’s status as a two-time champion and boosted his PFL record to an impressive 15-1.

Full Results

Olivier Aubin-Mercier beat Clay Collard via a unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Renan Ferreira beat Denis Goltsov via a second-round TKO

Larissa Pacheco beat Marina Mokhnatkina via a unanimous decision (49-46 x3)

Magomed Magomedkerimov beat Sadibou Sy via third-round submission

Impa Kasanganay beat Josh Silveira via a unanimous decision (50-45 x3)

Kayla Harrison beat Aspen Ladd via a a unanimous decision (30-27 x3)

Derek Brunson def. Ray Cooper III via a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-25)

Preliminary Card

Jesus Pinedo beat Gabriel Braga via a third-round TKO

Biaggio Ali Walsh beat Joel Galarza Lopez via a second-round KO

Phil Caracappa beat Khai Wu via a unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)

Jesse Stirn beat Josh Blyden via a unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

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