Larissa Pacheco did what no one else has done.
Pacheco stunned two-time PFL champion Kayla Harrison by defeating her via unanimous decision in the main event of the 2022 PFL World Championship at the Hulu Theater in Madison Square Garden.
Pacheco was a +529 underdog on average on major online sports books, according to Best Fight Odds.
The first round belonged to Harrison and her strong grappling.
But it was in round 2 where Pacheco began to turn the tables as she pressed forward with her striking, which Harrison said at Wednesday’s press conference was her opponent’s strong point.
In round 3, Harrison fought back. She got caught in a triangle, but was able to escape. Harrison briefly regained control, but Pacheco was able to survive the round.
The fourth and fifth rounds — the championship rounds — were close. But in the end, it seemed that Pacheco did more than Harrison this time around. Harrison seemed more gassed out.
Pacheco won by scorecards of 48-47, 48-47, 48-47. She became the PFL World Champion for the first time and went home with the $1 million prize.
Pacheco also avenged her first two losses against Harrison.
The loss marked Harrison’s first ever MMA loss — and she said it hurt.
“I’m very fortunate this isn’t the first time I’ve lost in life or in a sport setting,” Harrison said.
“You know, I lost many times in judo. It’s a little different in MMA, obviously. It’s the world’s biggest stage. I obviously just lost my title. That hurts and it’s going to hurt for a while. … It’s different in the sense there’s $1 million on the line. I feel like I’m the face of the promotion, so I dropped the ball a little bit. But losing is losing, you know. For me, I want to crawl out of my skin. I can’t stand it. It’s painful.”
Here’s the rest of the results:
- Larissa Pacheco def. Kayla Harrison via unanimous decision (48-47, 48-47, 48-47)
- Brendan Loughnane def. Bubba Jenkins via TKO (punches, knee) – Round 4, 2:38
- Aspen Ladd def. Julia Budd via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Stevie Ray via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 4:40 – for lightweight title
- Sadibou Sy def. Dilano Taylor via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – for welterweight title
- Rob Wilkinson def. Omari Akhmedov via TKO (doctor stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00 – for light heavyweight title
- Sheymon Moraes def. Marlon Moraes via TKO (punches) – Round 3, 0:58
- Natan Schulte def. Jeremy Stephens via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:32
- Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Gleison Tibau via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Dakota Ditcheva def. Katherine Corogenes via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 4:20
- Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Tom Graesser via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:45