In the end, Harrison decided to target the latter, and there wasn’t much Fabian could do about it. Fabian, a City Kickboxing product, got one kick off before being clinched and tossed to the mat. By the 4:01 mark of the opening frame, she was another victim of the Harrison blitz.
With her TKO victory in PFL 8’s headliner, Harrison clinched her second trip to the finals of the women’s lightweight tournament. She appears just as unstoppable in the third season as she did in the second, but fellow finalist Taylor Guardado will have something to say about that.
“Yeah, let’s do it,” American Top Team’s Harrison offered flatly after cutting a promo at the promotional pundits who questioned whether Fabian would have the key to beat her.
“Everyone keeps saying, ‘Oh, how do you solve the Kayla Harrison puzzle?’” said Harrison, who undoubtedly made ATT owner and pro-wrestling fanatic Dan Lambert proud with her mic work. “Spoiler alert: there is no fricken’ puzzle! I put you on your back and I mess you up. ... So doubt me know, but I’m going to show you how great I am.”
PFL 8 took place Thursday at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., and aired on ESPN+.
Cappelozza earns third straight PFL finish
Bruno Cappelozza needed a little more time to advance than his earlier appearances in the Season 3 tourney, but not much as his jab set up a second-round finish for a spot in the heavyweight finals.
Jones was rescued by the referee at the 1:33 mark of the second round as Cappeloza poured on the punishment. The Brazilian has been nothing short of decisive, stopping all three of his opponents, and will meet Ante Delija in the tourney finals.
Guardado eeks out split call to make finals
Mariana Morais’ ground control late in a three-rounder against Taylor Guardado could not overcome an early deficit Guardado built with sharper striking. But a close first round split the judges with two awarding Guardado the finals berth and one dissenting for Mariana Morais by scores of 29-28.
Delija grinds Goltsov for spot in finals
Ante Delija’s wrestling got him out of more than a few tough spots in a three-round grinder with Denis Goltsov. After taking a hard punch in the second, he was in a bad position taking shots until he managed to reverse and hold on to the top spot. With an early takedown and top control in the third, he sealed the win and spot in the heavyweight finals with unanimous 29-28 scorecards.
Full PFL 8 results:
Kayla Harrison def. Genah Fabian via TKO (strikes) - Round 1, 4:01
Bruno Cappelozza def. Jamelle Jones via TKO (strikes) - Round 2, 1:33
Taylor Guardado def. Mariana Morais via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Ante Delija def. Denis Goltsov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)