Larissa Pacheco shocks Kayla Harrison in upset at PFL World Championship

Larissa Pacheco

NEW YORK — The third time wasn't the charm for Kayla Harrison.

After defeating Larissa Pacheco twice by unanimous decision in 2019, Harrison was shocked by the Brazilian via a unanimous decision loss Friday night inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden. With the upset, Pacheco was crowned the new world lightweight PFL champion and took the cool $1 million that came with it. Judges all scored it 48-47 in favor of Pacheco. DAZN News scored it 48-47 for Harrison.

Although Harrison produced six key takedowns, Pacheco showed improved takedown defense. While on the ground, Pacheco also made sure that Harrison ate plenty of punishment courtesy of her hands as she connected with stiff, heavy-handed punches that caused damage. Plus, the Brazilian also threatened two key submissions against the former two-time PFL world lightweight champion, including a triangle that had the American reeling during the third round. That, and Pacheco was sharp on the feet, connecting on stinging combinations to Harrison's reddened face.

The night awarded five other world champions with a $1 million apiece. Next year, PFL MMA events will be available to stream on DAZN in select regions.

Here's how the entire 2022 PFL World Championship finals went.


Larissa Pacheco shocks Kayla Harrison by unanimous decision in big upset

All three judges score it 48-47 in favor of Larissa Pacheco. I did not see it that way, slightly giving it to Harrison. However, these rounds were extremely close.

Harrison vs. Pacheco; Round 5

They spend the first minute on the feet before Harrison shoots for a takedown and presses Pacheco up against the cage. Harrison has Pacheco down but the Brazilian quickly gets back on her feet. Harrison grabs hold of Pacheco's right leg, looking for that full takedown once again but is eating a lot of heavy hammerfists.

More than halfway through the round. Pacheco now has Harrison's back and is trying to cinch in a rear-naked choke but Harrison muscles out of it. What strength and grit. Harrison is back on top of a fallen Pacheco. One minute remaining. Pacheco seems to be working for that triangle once again. She is pummeling Harrison with punches from the ground. Although Harrison had control for much of this round, she took plenty of punishment from Pacheco's hands. She lost the round but should pull out the fight. Let's see how the judges score it. (10-9 Pacheco, 48-47 Harrison)

Harrison vs. Pacheco; Round 4

Harrison shoots for the takedown and Pacheco grabs hold of the American with a headlock. As Harrison tries to flatten her rival out, Pacheco swiftly takes her back and is going for a choke. Harrison grapples free and looks like she could threaten a standing guillotine here. She has firm hold of the Brazilian and pulls her down before taking her back. She has Pacheco in a waist lock and now grabs hold of her arm. Pacheco now has her weight on Harrison, who is operating from the bottom. Under a minute left. Pacheco briefly frees up her hands and deposits shots to Harrison's ribcage before landing a vicious right flush onto the American's face. Another riveting round.

Fifth and final round next. (10-9 Harrison, 39-37 Harrison)

Harrison vs. Pacheco; Round 3

Pacheco catches Harrison with some punches but Harrison works to be back on top of the Brazilian while raining down punches herself. This looks like a flashback to the first round. Pacheco threatening a triangle submission on the ground but Harrison finds a way to eventually take her rival's back and threaten an arm-triangle choke herself.

Harrison presides over Pacheco once again and is trying to free up enough fists to pummel the Brazilian. Solid round with the slight edge going to Harrison. (10-9 Harrison, 29-28 Harrison)

Harrison vs. Pacheco; Round 2

Pacheco brushes Harrison back with a punch and a stinging one-two combination connects, too. Harrison goes for a head kick but it only grazes the Brazilian. Pacheco fights off a Harrison takedown attempt well but the latter has her pressed up against the cage, where Pacheco doesn't want to be. Pacheco momentarily threatens a submission but Harrison wriggles out of harm's way.

They're back on their feet, where Pacheco wants to be. She catches Harrison with a hard right hand. Ninety seconds left. They trade leg kicks. Right-left-left combo lands for Pacheco. And a hard right hand for good measure. Harrison shrewdly takes Pacheco's back, briefly threatens an arm bar but the Brazilian defends well. Resiliency shown by Harrison to eat those shots and keep coming but Pacheco had an impressive round. (10-9 Pacheco, 19-19)

Kayla Harrison vs. Larissa Pacheco; Round 1

Both fighters showing patience as they feel each other out. Pacheco peppers Harrison with a right hand and Harrison gives her a receipt the other way. Harrison now grabs hold of Pacheco and muscles her down to the canvas with a trip.

Harrison with top control as she tries to free up her hands to blast Pacheco with punches. Some shots are connecting, others are missing their mark. Harrison with a raking right hand across Pacheco's face. A left hand rains down, too, although Pacheco is doing a good job sneaking in some stiff hammerfists while on her back. Harrison has Pacheco mashed up against the cage as he continues to let her hands go. Under a minute as most of this round has seen Pacheco on her back. Harrison peppering a fallen Pacheco with kicks to the body, then takes a step back and lunges forward with a punch onto Pacheco. Dominant round for Harrison. (10-9 Harrison)

Kayla Harrison sprints to the cage

Claressa Shields and Wiz Khalifa are amongst those with front-row seats to see the two-time Olympic gold medalist and two-time PFL world lightweight champ.

Larissa Pacheco enters the cage

The time is now!

Main event up next

Kayla Harrison looks to make it 3-0 over Larissa Pacheco next. She wins and she'll celebrate her third PFL World Championship victory and third $1 million check. Will Harrison continue her dominance over the lightweight division? Or will Pacheco finally find a way to defeat her rival? We're about to find out.

Loughnane stops Jenkins to win the featherweight world title

Jenkins doubles up on his jab onto Loughnane's reddened face. Jenkins again goes for a takedown but Loughnane defends it well, making the American pay with fists. Sniping right hands from Loughnane who follows with a banging leg kick. An inside leg kick now followed by a stinging left-right combination from Loughnane.

Loughnane brushes Jenkins back with a left-right combination. Seconds later, he detonates a huge right hand straight down the middle to drop Jenkins. The American tries to take cover but Loughnane is blasting him with unanswered punches. The ref is taking a close look and stops it after a knee to the head. Loughnane is the new world featherweight champ, taking home $1 million as well, after this electric fourth-round TKO!

Loughnane vs. Jenkins; Round 3

Jenkins now with an inside leg kick. Loughnane returns the favor. And they're alternating with those kicks at this point. Front kick lands for Loughnane. Stiff right jab splits Loughnane's guard straight down the middle. Flurry thrown upstairs to distract Jenkins enough for Loughnane to pepper him with a whipping leg kick. Another leg kick almost takes the American off his feet. Front kick from Loughnane lands. Jenkins goes for a takedown but Loughnane stuffs it. He wriggles free from Jenkins' grip. A buffet of kicks being offered by Loughnane now. Jenkins scores another stiff right jab but Loughnane returns fire with his hands the other way. He's pouring it on now with Jenkins pressed against the cage. A kick follows and a knee. They fight to the bell. Loughnane really brought the pressure late. (10-9 Loughnane, 29-28 Loughnane)

Loughnane vs. Jenkins; Round 2

Blistering left-right combo lands for Loughnane early on. Moments later, he launches a leg kick and comes over the top with a right hand. He repeats the same combination seconds later. Jenkins slows down Loughnane's offense by going for a takedown. He takes Loughnane's back but the English fighter wriggles out of any harm. Jenkins briefly buzzes Loughnane with a sharp right hand but they're in the center of the cage, downloading information on each other. Brief flurry from Loughnane, who catches a body kick attempt and delivers a spinning back kick seconds later. A low-blow kick landed on Jenkins pauses the action momentarily as the American is given time to recover.  Only seven seconds remain in the round. Action resumes and Loughnane buries a body kick into Jenkins' midsection. (10-9 Loughnane, 19-19)

Brendan Loughnane vs. Bubba Jenkins; Round 1

Jenkins triples up on a jab attempt and comes up just short as he tells Loughnane about it.  Moments later, he shoots for a second takedown attempt and comes up short once again. Jenkins is really quick with his right hand when it comes on the finishing end of a combination. He might be able to catch Loughnane with it if timed right. Just as I say that, Jenkins catches Loughnane with a stinging right-left combination that the British fighter definitely felt every bit of. (10-9 Jenkins)

Co-main event time

The co-feature pits Brendan Loughnane (24-4) against Bubba Jenkins (19-5) for the PFL world featherweight championship and the fifth $1 million check of the night. It's about that time.

Give Ante Delija his money!

Delija brought some pressure and had Scheffel pressed up against the cage before unleashing a rapid-fire combination of heavy-handed punches that dropped the Brazilian in a heap. And just like that, Delija is the PFL world heavyweight champion and $1 million richer!

Hell of a knockout and it just took the Croatian fighter 2:51 into the first round. Talk about "Walking Trouble!" And sweet retribution for Delija considering he lost to Bruno Cappelozza in the 2021 PFL World Championship heavyweight final.

Heavyweight championship on deck

Ante "Walking Trouble" Delija (22-5) vs. Matheus Scheffel (17-8) is moments away with the heavyweight strap up for grabs. Not to mention, yet another $1 million check.

Aspen Ladd successful in PFL debut

Ladd begins to open up the offense by really letting her hands fly. She's teeing off and splitting Budd's guard — or lack thereof — early in the third. Although Budd battles back later in the round, Ladd should win this comfortably on the cards.

And yes, judges score it a split-decision in her favor. Solid start to her PFL journey.

Ladd and Budd are not wasting time

The featherweights are getting after it quickly as Ladd currently has Budd's back and is trying to threaten a submission.

Women's featherweight showcase is next

Aspen Ladd makes her PFL debut against Julia Budd. Ladd lost three of her four last fights before exiting the UFC and signing with the PFL. This fight will not have $1 million on the line as we take a break from the tournament finals.

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