Going into their third fight at the 2022 PFL Championships this past Friday, Larissa Pacheco knew she would defeat Kayla Harrison.
“I already knew it was going to be an upset,” said Pacheco through an interpreter at her post-fight press conference (video provided by MMASucka). “I came here ready to screw with everyone’s bets and put on one hell of a fight.”
Pacheco was 0-2 against Harrison, who dominated the Brazilian in their previous outings at PFL 1 and PFL 10 in 2019. However, in this outing, Pacheco showed off her growth and gave Harrison the toughest test of her professional career thus far.
Though she found success early, Harrison dealt with several submission attempts and reversals from Pacheco on the ground. And when they were on their feet, the two-time PFL champion was met with heavy punches. It was a close fight, but Pacheco earned a unanimous decision on the judges’ scorecards, becoming the first fighter to bounce Harrison from the ranks of the unbeaten.
As impressive as her performance was, Pacheco saw some areas that needed improvement.
“It was good, but it wasn’t great,” said Pacheco. “There’s a lot of things that happened this fight that I thought were going to go one way for me, and they didn’t. I obviously noticed that she was being frustrated with a lot of her takedown attempts, and with that, I gained confidence. I’m just happy I was able to stick with the strategy, stick with what we had planned in order to come out on top.
“Kayla has a rematch whenever she wants,” continued Pacheco. “I’m happy to give it to her and I know she’s going to come back even stronger.”
With the win over Harrison, Pacheco is now on a six-fight win streak.