Kayla Harrison in Search of Three-Peat at PFL 10

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One of the best women’s fighters in the game today, Kayla Harrison is looking to become a three-time PFL champion as she takes on former foe, Larissa Pacheco. Headlining PFL 10, live from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden, New York, the two women will meet in a trilogy in which Harrison is 2-0 thus far.

Journey to the Finals

Kayla Harrison has been at her dominant best on her way to her third PFL tournament finals. This year she’s dominated Marina Mokhnatkina via unanimous decision and finished Kaitlin Young on short notice. Last time out, Harrison did what she does best in London.

After returning to London for the first time since her Olympic gold medal success, Harrison wanted to put on a show in the main event. She was taking on Martina Jindrova, a woman she deemed her most formidable opponent to date. In typical Harrison fashion, she didn’t give Jindrova a chance. It took just one takedown for her to land 20 ground strikes and lock up a slick submission.

Harrison’s PFL 10 opponent is the hard-hitting, in-form Larissa Pacheco. Pacheco is in a hot run of form, winning her last five straight fights, none of which have seen a second round. Pacheco has dynamite in her hands, knocking all of her opponents out, including finishing Olena Kolenyk on the same card as Harrison in London in August. Since being cut from the UFC back in 2015, Pacheco has only lost to one woman, twice… Kayla Harrison.

Harrison vs. Pacheco 3

The great thing about the PFL tournament structure is that both women enter the bout on a lighting run of form. Harrison is undefeated in her entire MMA career at 15-0, whereas her Brazillian opponent is riding a five-fight undefeated run.

Harrison claimed that in their last two fights, Pacheco merely survived. “Let’s make this a real MMA fight, let’s see what happens when it’s really the rules and she has no way to survive on the ground like she did last time“. She is referring to PFL not allowing elbows on the ground, something that Harrison believes should be legal and would give her the opportunity to finish the fight. She pleaded with the PFL to allow elbows in the finals, however, it appears that her plea fell on deaf ears.

Pacheco has to keep this fight standing. It’s as simple as that. Despite Harrison being capable on the feet, she’s outmatched in comparison to her Brazillian counterpart. History would suggest that she may struggle to keep it standing, however. Across their last two fights, Harrison has landed seven takedowns and clocked up a total of almost 27 minutes of control time.

For Harrison, she has to manage distance perfectly in this one. She cannot step lazily into Pacheco’s range because as of late, Pacheco hasn’t taken long to find her range. If Harrison finds herself in Pacheco’s range, expect her bell to be rung.

Despite this, we can predict a ‘three-peat’ on Friday night. Harrison maybe just has Pacheco’s number. The past two fights suggest that she’ll be able to avoid that big knockout blow, get the fight to the ground and dominate. From the clinch, with her judo background, she’s simply too strong. She has to close the distance quickly and get the fight to the floor.

Ultimately, it’s a history-making night. It’s PFL’s PPV debut, six world title’s will be awarded and six millionaires will be crowned.

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Frazer Krohn has been with MMASucka for nearly 5 years. He is the host of the MMASucka podcast, which is released every Monday. He's the author of a series of six books about MMA, which were published in 2023.

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