If Larissa Pacheco wins her next fight, she’ll accomplish two things: claim the PFL gold and become the first woman to beat the seemingly unbeatable Kayla Harrison.
Does one matter more than the other?
“I think these two things go hand in hand. It’s like a combo,” Pacheco said during Wednesday’s 2022 PFL Championships pre-event press conference.
Pacheco (18-4) has been on a roll this season, and she hopes it continues against Harrison (15-0) in the ESPN+ pay-per-view headliner with $1 million on the line Friday at Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden in New York. All three of Pacheco’s fights this year have ended in first-round TKO victories as she cruised to her second-career finals appearance.
Her first PFL title fight came on Dec. 31, 2019, when she lost a lopsided unanimous decision to Harrison. Earlier that year, Pacheco also lost to Harrison by unanimous decision. In total, Pacheco has spent eight rounds inside the cage with the two-time Olympic gold medalist judoka – and she hasn’t won a single round.
But she’s optimistic about that changing Friday.
“Kayla’s got the upper hand at this point in time. She’s won two, but this is my time,” Pacheco said. “I’ve worked hard for this one. …
“I don’t see a lot of changes in her game. All I know is she wants this as much as I do. She wants to stay champion. I want to become a champion. All I know is we’re gonna put on a great show Friday night.”
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2022 PFL Championships.