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Larissa Pacheco out of PFL playoffs after missing weight, Mariana Morais to fight Taylor Guardado at PFL 8

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Larissa Pacheco
Cooper Neill, PFL

Larissa Pacheco has missed weight and will no longer be competing for the PFL’s million-dollar prize.

The league announced Thursday that Pacheco came in over the lightweight limit by two pounds for her semifinal bout with Taylor Guardado (2-1) that was scheduled to take place at PFL 8 on Thursday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Fla. Pacheco has been removed from the tournament and will be replaced by Mariana Morais (17-11), who was set to compete on the preliminary portion of the card against Claudia Zamora (3-1).

Pacheco’s miss and removal was first reported by reporter Igor Melotto.

Zamora now fights Marina Mokhnatkina (5-2) on the prelims after Mokhnatkina was originally scheduled to fight Kaitlin Young. Young has been removed from Thursday’s card for undisclosed reasons.

MMA Fighting contacted PFL officials regarding Young’s status and was told they had no further comment on the fight changes.

Pacheco released the following statement to MMA Fighting:

I had a setback. I got here without much time after going to Rio de Janeiro to get my visa and I didn’t have much training available there. My weight was a bit high when I was in Rio but I got here well. I don’t cut too much. All the travel got me a bit swollen, and when I got here I didn’t have a bathtub available immediately, they only got me one overnight, and when I started cutting weight it was a bit too late because I spent the entire afternoon at the press conference. I cut some weight yesterday, got some rest, and then started cutting weight again today. I would have made weight weight with 20 more minutes but time was up and I was at 158. They tried to get me a fight but the girl [Young] didn’t accept it so I was left without a fight.

I’ll continue training and preparing because there’s more next year, and that will never happen again. It was the first time it happened in 10 years for me but it happens. I’m not the first athlete in the world to miss weight, but it won’t happen again. I know how bad that is. I apologize to the promotion and my opponent.

Young initially responded to the announcement of the card changes by saying on Twitter that she was still on the card, but later tweeted the following:

I am no longer fighting tomorrow. I am healthy, did not pull out of any fight, and I did not refuse any fight. I will update with more details after it all shakes out. In the mean time, please support the other ladies as they get after it.

Pacheco was attempting to make it to a second consecutive PFL lightweight final after losing to Kayla Harrison in the 2019 Finals (the 2020 season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic). She finished both of her opponents inside of a round to book her spot in the semifinals.

Due to Morais finishing fifth in the PFL regular season standings, she was chosen to take Pacheco’s spot.

See the updated lightweight semifinals below:

Lightweight tournament semifinal

Kayla Harrison vs. Genah Fabian

Taylor Guardado vs. Mariana Morais