One-third of the field for the Dec. 31 PFL championship card is set, as last Friday’s PFL 7 set the title fights in both the PFL Women’s Lightweight and Welterweight divisions.
As the old adage goes, “ladies before gentlemen”.
In keeping with that adage, we’ll begin our series of first looks at the title fights with the Women’s Lightweight title contest between No. 2 seed Kayla Harrison (6-0) and No. 4 seed Larissa Pacheco (13-3).
A prize of $1 million awaits the winner of this contest in New York City, as does the customary championship belt.
Harrison and Pacheco will meet head-to-head for the second time on New Year’s Eve, having fought previously in the 2019 regular season during PFL 1 on May 9.
The previous encounter:
That night, Harrison fought to a unanimous decision against Pacheco to earn three points in the Women’s Lightweight standings.
It was the first time in her MMA career that Harrison did not win by a stoppage.
This title fight will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round and will decide the first Women’s Lightweight champion in Professional Fighters League, and for that matter, mixed martial arts history.
Prior to the 2019 PFL season, no MMA promotion had ever had a Women’s Lightweight class.
Heading into the New Year’s Eve title fight, Kayla Harrison is the taller contestant, standing 5-foot-8, an inch taller than Larissa Pacheco’s 5-foot-7 frame.
How they got here:
Kayla Harrison stopped playoff alternate Bobbi Jo Dalziel, a late replacement for No. 3 seed Genah Fabian (medical issues), by first-round armbar submission. Harrison has yet to lose in her MMA career.
In the other corner, Larissa Pacheco defeated No. 1 seed Sarah Kaufman by unanimous decision to set up the New Year’s Eve contest in the Big Apple.
The Tale of the Tape:
Tapology shows that Larissa Pacheco holds a 3.5-inch reach advantage (69 inches to 65.5 inches) over Kayla Harrison.
Prediction: Kayla Harrison by first-round submission
PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship: Tuesday, Dec. 31, ESPN2
Our first #PFLPlayoffs event is in the books and the 2019 #PFLChampionship is beginning to take shape. @KaylaH vs. @pachecolarissa_ and Ray Cooper III vs. @bulldawg_170 on deck for Madison Square Garden, New York City! 🗽 pic.twitter.com/LnUvHhOSXQ
— #PFLmma (@ProFightLeague) October 12, 2019
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