PFL World Championship 2022 took place Nov. 25 at the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Two-time lightweight champion Kayla Harrison took on fellow finalist Larissa Pacheco in the third meeting for the pairing in the main event. The fight aired live on ESPN+ pay-per-view — a main card that served as the promotion’s first on pay-per-view.
In the end, Pacheco pulled off a massive upset to win the title, hand Harrison her first loss, and win $1 million.
Catch the video highlights below.
For more on Harrison vs. Pacheco, check out the live blog from MMA Fighting’s Jed Meshew.
Harrison comes out southpaw with Pacheco in orthodox. Pacheco has a very low stance and she’s pawing with the left early to gauge distance as she moves forward. Patience from her. Harrison, meanwhile, moving on the outside, feinting a lot, and throwing some kicks. Lands a couple of solid low kicks. She’s not rushing a takedown.
Pacheco attempts to step into a shot and Harrison immediately gets a clinch. Pacheco trying to separate but Harrison has the arms locked up and she gets an outside trip to take this one to the mat. Pacheco throwing up legs trying to get something going but Harrison cuts right through it and now she’s in Pacheco’s guard.
Harrison working shots to the body and head. Pacheco with a closed guard and that’s doing absolutely nothing for her other than getting her beat. Harrison landing good ground and pound from the guard. Pacheco opens up to look for a butterfly but no dice. Pacheco trying hammerfists from the bottom but she’s eating shots still. Harrison landing some very good GNP here. And she’s slowly worked Pacheco to the fence.
Harrison has Pacheco to the fence and she’s smashing her head against the cage now, limiting movement. This is old-school GNP and control. Pacheco getting the legs up as Harrison postures now, trying to create space and she’s able to get Harrison to step back. Pacheco still on her back though and Harrison re-enters. Pacheco moves and Harrison takes the back with one hook. Short time though and Harrison can only manage a couple of shots before the bell.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-8 Harrison.
I guess I should clarify the score from 1: Harrison didn’t land huge damage, but Pacheco offered no offense. Dominance and duration to a tee earns a 10-8.
Pacheco does not look discouraged after the first round though and she comes out and chops the legs from under Harrison with a leg kick. Harrison up though as Pacheco chases her. Harrison lands a good left hand of her own! Pacheco eats it well though. Harrison tries a high kick that whiffs. She’s not a good striker, but she’s clearly more comfortable in this area.
An exchange from the two women leads to Harrison dropping to a double leg. Pacheco fends it off but Harrison still has a clinch against the cage. Harrison drops down again and she’s going to get this one but Pacheco has a guillotine! Only one control leg but Harrison is in danger and she rolls to her back to avoid! Pacheco on top on North-South now, but Harrison already rolling up under her and she’s now driving on a single-into a clinch along the fence. Good effort from Pacheco there.
Now we’re doing clinch fighting. Pacheco holding her own here right now and she fends off another attack from Harrison and turns the position. Pacheco unloads a combination on the break but Harrison pivots out. Both women breathing a little heavy right now.
Harrison throws a lazy low kick and Pacheco lands a combo that gets Harrison retreating. She may have Harrison hurt as Harrison getting a little desperate and Pacheco swinging hard right now. Harrison drops for a double that gets stuffed but another shot creates a scramble along the fence were Harrison gets to the back crucifix, almost position. She tries to throw a leg over for an armbar in short time but Pacheco pivots and throws a shot or two before the bell.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Pacheco, 19-18 Harrison overall.
Both women looking rather winded on the stools. This could get a little sloppy now, which probably favors Pacheco.
Pacheco throws a kick early and Harrison grabs a single and drives her to the cage but Pacheco is staying up and landing some big hammerfists. Harrison is able to run the pipe and get Pacheco to the mat, but Pacheco is swinging hard with hammerfists before Harrison can establish position. Harrison doesn’t like them, but she consolidates and now she’s in Pacheco’s full guard.
Harrison chipping from the top, while Pacheco tries to fire back from below. She’s landing some big one’s here while Harrison is between positions and Pacheco throws up a triangle!!! Pacheco has this locked in, but slightly askew and this is crazy!!!
Harrison posturing but Pacheco is landing hammerfists and it’s getting tighter. Pacheco attempts to transition to an armbar and that’s a terrible idea!!!! Harrison immediately spins around through it and now she’s in top half guard with an underhook. Pacheco had her shot but she may have blown it because Harrison is now in mount and Pacheco might be gassed for how little resistance she offered there.
Harrison grapevining from the top, chipping in with shots and now she’s setting up an arm-triangle. 50 seconds left for Pacheco to survive and Harrison stops the sub and goes for some smashing. She postures up and now it’s big shots from the champion! Pacheco punching from bottom mount, useless but she’s able to survive to the bell. Great round!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Harrison, 29-27 Harrison overall.
Absolutely no clue if Harrison won that last round. Both women had nearly identical amounts of damage and control and danger. Went Harrison since she ended the round in better position but no confidence.
Round 4 starts and both women look rejuvenated here. Pace is measured, but spring in the steps for both. Harrison goes high for a kick but it’s blocked. Harrison then shoots a double, drives Pacheco across the cage, and then finishes the double along the fence. Pacheco grabbing the neck but she’s on the wrong side for a finish. She is able to get back to her feet though.
Harrison right back after Pacheco with a single. Harrison finally lets go but Pacheco takes the back!!! She’s trying to hold position but Harrison manages to spin pretty quickly. Pacheco along the fence and up to her feet but Harrison holding a front headlock. She goes for an outside trip, that gets nowhere so instead she sprawls to suck Pacheco down and then turn to get a rear waist lock. Pacheco fighting this position hard though and now they’re dueling switches into a scramble that Pacheco wins to end up on top!
Pacheco in side control and Harrison may be totally gassed based on her body language. Pacheco clearly winded as well, as she’s just holding this position for now. Pacheco trying to move to mount but Harrison trying to sneak out the back door. She’s able to but Pacheco smashes her down and lands some shots. Harrison gets up to her feet but eats a few more! Harrison gets on the hips just before the horn and waits out the position.
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Pacheco, 38-37 Harrison overall.
My best guess is that this is 2-2 heading into the final round. Doubt the judges have given any 10-8’s, so all to play for here.
Both women look okay to start as Pacheco is pawing and keeping the distance while Harrison looks for an entry. Harrison ultimately just sort of bullies her way into a clinch but Pacheco turns her along the fence with double underhooks. Harrison shows the pedigree though, stepping across and nearly throwing Pacheco. Pacheco goes to ground but immediately up. Harrison now with over/under along the fence.
Pacheco lands a couple knees in here and Harrison changes levels for a single. Pacheco ripping hammerfists in here as Harrison cannot finish this single. Pacheco making her pay. Harrison needs to finish this takedown but Pacheco has smashed her out of it and she’s now pivoted to the back and she’s punching away with a wrist ride. Pacheco has the back!!!!
Harrison looks totally gassed. Pacheco goes for a body triangle but Harrison turns before she can lock it in and she is on top with 2 minutes to go. Pacheco is ahead this round though so Harrison needs real offense here. Pacheco throwing hammers and getting the legs up. Harrison trying to pass but can’t and she ends up back into the full guard.
1 minute left and Pacheco trying to go for a triangle from the bottom. Harrison needs offense to win this round. Harrison trying to pass but she can’t clear the legs and Pacheco throwing shots off the back. Harrison simply cannot get a pass and now with short time, Pacheco grabs a lockdown to ride out the round and she may well have just upset Kayla Harrison!!
MMA Fighting scores the round 10-9 Pacheco, 47-47 overall.