Following her emphatic win on Saturday night, Kayla Harrison emplored the PFL to allow elbows. Talking to the media, Harrison discussed her trilogy fight with Larissa Pacheco stating:
“I want the PFL to allow elbows. I think that everyone should get on Twitter and say to the PFL ‘Bring back the elbow’ and let’s make this a real MMA fight and see what happens when it’s really the rules and she has no way to survive on the ground like she did last time”
To Elbow or Not to Elbow, that is the Question
It makes a lot of sense for the PFL not to allow elbows during the regular season or during the semi-finals. As we know, elbows can do some serious damage when landed correctly and nobody wants fights delayed due to injuries. The schedule is certainly an aspect that makes the PFL so exciting. Take Harrison, for example. She competed in May, July and August and is set to compete in the finals in November. That relentless schedule would certainly be affected if she suffered a deep cut.
Harrison is also a great example of the devastation that elbows can bring to the cage. During her one and only fight outside the PFL (due to a contract exemption), she faced Courtney King in Invicta FC (who allow elbows in their fights). Harrison truly brutalised King. The first elbow she threw split her opponent open and it was a blood bath from there on out.
This is the face of the woman who is fighting Kayla Harrison right now, Courtney King. pic.twitter.com/AxduqZ7hYv
— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) November 21, 2020
Former PFL commentator, Yves Edwards discussed the matter back in 2018 when talking to MMAJunkie. “We just want to eliminate as many things as possible to keep the guys that are earning their shot, to keep them having the opportunity to earn that one million dollars,” Edwards said.
With that being said, it would make sense for fighters to be able to use their full repertoire of attacks in the finals. The fighters don’t have to fight a matter of months later, in this case, they can have months off after their final bout. If they do suffer a cut due to elbows, it won’t affect their season (as it is classed as ‘off-season’).
There’s little logical reason for the PFL not to allow elbows in the final. They, like all MMA promotions, don’t like fights being stalled and as Harrison suggested, in their previous bouts, Pacheco ‘survived’ on the ground. If elbows are allowed on the ground, simply ‘surviving’ on the ground becomes a lot riskier. It also doesn’t limit a fighters game and would definitely provide better fights.
Will elbows be allowed in the PFL finals in November? Only time will tell, but let’s hope so.