The first-ever women’s lightweight title bout held by a major MMA organization? A cool $1 million on the line?
No big deal; Kayla Harrison lives for these moments.
Faced with the biggest opportunity of her young MMA career, Harrison (7-0) was virtually flawless. The two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka dominated Larissa Pacheco (13-4) for a second time in eight months, winning the inaugural PFL women’s 155-pound belt and capturing the $1 million grand prize in the main event of PFL’s Season 2 finale. The New Year’s Eve event aired on ESPN2 from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
The judges scored the headliner 50-43, 50-45 and 50-45, all in Harrison’s favor.
“Momma, I love you!” an emotional Harrison shouted post-fight, before being embraced inside the cage by her mother, who is battling health problems. “We’re millionaires!”
Harrison previously defeated Pacheco in the PFL season opener in May, memorably leaving the cage with tears of disappointment streaming down her face despite winning a unanimous decision. On Tuesday, though, the only tears shed were those of joy.
From the outset, Harrison never gave Pacheco a moment to breathe, dictating the entire pace of the fight with a never-ending stream of double-leg takedowns. That was the formula throughout — takedown, advance position, ground-and-pound — and the gap in grappling acumen between the two women was clear by the end of the opening round. The result was never once in doubt.