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.


Olivier Aubin-Mercier delivers highlight reel KO to win lightweight title!

Ray took Aubin-Mercier's back and logged plenty of ground control time until the final minute when the "Canadian Gangster" powered through and brought the fight back up on the feet. Moments after, Aubin-Mercier spotted a lapse in Ray's guard and blasted him with a right hand across the jaw. The shot knocked Ray out on his feet and his limp body crashed to the canvas. What a way to clinch a championship and cash in on $1 million!

Aubin-Mercier is now 6-0 in the PFL.

Low kick working for Aubin-Mercier in Round 1

PFL lightweight world title to be decided next

Olivier Aubin-Mercier (16-5) vs. Stevie Ray (25-10) is on deck.

Sadibou Sy crowned welterweight world champ, picks up $1 million check

After five rounds, all three judges score it 49-46 in favor of Sadibou Sy. The head kick that he launched and landed in the first round was probably the most significant shot of the entire fight. I would have given him the slightest edge as well despite the hesitancy to engage from both. Still, the performance was good enough to get the unanimous nod.

Low action fight goes the distance

This New York City crowd serenades Sy and Taylor with "this is boring" chants and boos and you can't really blame them. This was about as low action of a world championship MMA fight that you'll ever see. Let's see how judges score this as neither man showed the urgency to take this one.

Fifth round coming up

You'd never know that this bout was for the welterweight world title and $1 million by looking at the action. Both fighters aren't committing to engaging and this fight remains a low-action bout over the third and fourth rounds. There's got to be an uptick of urgency in this fifth and final round!

Both fighters hesitant to engage in second round

Boos beginning to rain down on Sy and Taylor for being overly tentative although Taylor briefly gives the crowd something to buzz over by launching a head kick in the closing seconds of the frame.

Kicks landing for Sy in Round 1

Although both fighters were being cautious over large stretches of the opening round, Sy did put Taylor on painful notice of his kicks. He deposited thunderous leg kicks and connected on a big head kick as well.

Welterweight championship bout on deck

"The Swedish Denzel" Sadibou Sy (12-6-2, 1 No Contest) vs. Dilano "The Postman" Taylor (10-2), with the winner wrapping the welterweight title around his waist and becoming a cool $1 million richer, is moments away.

Wilkinson captures light heavyweight crown after brutalizing Akhmedov

Wilkinson basically introduced Akhmedov to hell's trenches during a hellacious second round in which he bloodied the Dagestani fighter's face and dropped him after the bell with a knee. The ref took a closer look and could have stopped it right then and there before the knee. That's how much damage Akhmedov was taking.

After cageside physicians and the ref took a closer look, they decided that Akhmedov took enough punishment and waved off the fight. Dominating performance from Wilkinson who becomes the light heavyweight world champion and gets to cash the first $1 million check of the night.

Wilkinson with impressive first round

Wilkinson bringing the thunder in the opening round as he floored Ahkmedov a few times, with solid punches and later with a kick during the waning seconds. Impressive striking all around from Wilkinson.

Robert Wilkinson vs. Omari Akhmedov launches this main card PPV

The first championship bout of the night begins with the light heavyweight crown at stake with Wilkinson (16-2-0) from Australia up against Akhmedov (24-7-1) representing Dagestan.

Wiz Khalifa performs

Aside from his rhyming skills, Wiz is actually quite the MMA fighter himself, training in the arts regularly.

Boxing royalty in the house

The GWOAT's here.


Hello and welcome to the coverage of the 2022 PFL World Championship. We are live inside the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This MMA pay-per-view is officially live as six champions will be crowned and $6 million will be awarded. 

This is how the Showcase portion of matchups ended just minutes ago.

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