clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Kayla Harrison’s team accused of cheating during PFL championship loss to Larissa Pacheco

Pacheco’s manager believes Ali Abdelaziz cheated on the behalf of Harrison.

Larissa Pacheco celebrating her win over Kayla Harrison at PFL 10: Championships.
Larissa Pacheco celebrating her win over Kayla Harrison at PFL 10: Championships.
Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

After a largely unheralded career Larissa Pacheco had a storybook moment over the weekend, beating the previously undefeated Kayla Harrison to win the PFL MMA (Professional Fighter’s League) ‘2022 Lightweight Tournament’ (and a cheque for a million dollars). The win over Harrison came after Pacheco previously lost to the former Olympian twice in prior PFL seasons.

During her victory lap media tour Pacheco appeared on The MMA Hour on Monday alongside her manager, and translator, Alex Davis.

While on the show Davis accused Harrison’s team of cheating during the million dollar fight. Specifically, Davis said that Harrison’s manager, Ali Abdelaziz, was giving his client instructions in what was supposed to be a neutral corner.

“In this certain circumstance, people have to understand there are two corners — the red corner and the blue corner,” Davis said (ht MMA Mania). “So, what happened there was the manager came to the neutral side and started giving instructions. There’s two problems with that. One, you’re giving [Harrison] instructions. It’s a third corner. Second, [Pacheco] cannot hear her corner because you have someone yelling near and he was getting right up near the cage. It’s all on video, everybody sees it. This kind of stuff has to be stopped.”

“He walks up blatantly and starts giving instructions from there,” Davis continued. “Then I got up and told him, ‘Get back to your corner.’ Then he tells me, ‘Go f—k yourself.’ Then I went to get the official, the official went up to him, he brushed the official off, then I went and got the commissioner. All during the fight and I’m in [Pacheco’s] corner.

“With my fighters, I’m not going to permit this. I will go to war. These people work too hard for what they do for us to take illegal advantages. Especially managers. We’re here to assist them. What are we doing getting involved in things like that? If he was in the other corner, that’s fine.”

Pacheco’s win over the highly touted Harrison caps a six fight winning streak that began last summer. Those victories come after her loss to Harrison in the 2019 PFL tournament final.

The Brazilian did seem primed to face Harrison in last year’s tournament. However, after two victories, she missed weight and was removed from the competition.

In this year’s tournament Pacheco finished both Genah Fabian and Olena Kolesnyk by TKO to book her spot in the final.

Outside of her two losses to Harrison, the only defeats in Pachecho’s pro career are from her two fights inside the UFC octagon in 2014 and 2015. In those contests she lost to a pair of future UFC champions, Jessica Andrade and Germaine de Randamie.

Pacheco’s only other loss is an exhibition defeat to Macy Chiasson on season 28 of TUF (The Ultimate Fighter).