Discover the dominance of Larissa Pacheco in the PFL featherweight division. Learn about her upcoming fight against Olena Kolesnyk and her aspirations to become a two-weight champion.
When Larissa Pacheco steps into the cage on Friday night, she will face two opponents. Her primary adversary will be Olena Kolesnyk, as they clash in a PFL fight card at The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. This event features the heavyweight and women’s featherweight semifinals, with the main card airing on ESPN and ESPN+ at 9 p.m. ET, and the prelims on ESPN at 7 p.m. ET.
However, there is another opponent that Pacheco has been battling, albeit figuratively. That opponent is none other than the ghost of Kayla Harrison , the two-time PFL women’s lightweight champion. While Harrison is very much alive, she has been absent from the fighting scene in 2023 as she transitions to the company’s pay-per-view Super Fight division, which is set to launch soon.
In Harrison’s absence, Pacheco has emerged as the most dominant force in the PFL, regardless of gender. After upsetting Harrison to win the championship last November, Pacheco has continued her reign of dominance. She has transitioned to the featherweight division and has been unstoppable ever since.
During the regular season, Pacheco showcased her skills with two impressive victories. In April, she defeated former Bellator champion Julia Budd in a commanding decision win. Then, in June, she made quick work of Amber Leibrock, knocking her out in just 45 seconds. Pacheco’s opponent on Friday, Olena Kolesnyk, is a familiar face. They have faced each other before, with Pacheco knocking out Kolesnyk twice in the first round on her way to winning last season’s championship.
It would be a monumental upset if Pacheco doesn’t continue her dominance and secure another championship. PFL play-by-play broadcaster Sean O’Connell, himself a former season champion, believes that there is no woman on the planet who can defeat Pacheco. Her skills and determination have elevated her to a level where she is virtually untouchable.
Pacheco’s journey to this point has not been easy. She faced Harrison twice during the 2019 championship run and put up a valiant fight both times. Despite being outsized and new to the weight class, Pacheco was the only woman to go the distance with Harrison during her dominant seasons. In their last meeting, Pacheco overcame early trouble on the canvas and emerged victorious by unanimous decision.
While Pacheco acknowledges that Harrison is still the face of the PFL, she is determined to carve her own path to greatness. Her goal is to become the PFL’s first two-weight champion and eventually face Harrison again. Pacheco wants to not only be the face of the PFL but also the face of fighting in Brazil, where there is currently no dominant figure in the sport.
With Amanda Nunes retired and Cris Cyborg approaching the end of her career, Pacheco sees an opportunity to establish herself as the leading Brazilian fighter. She has evolved as a fighter since her early days in the UFC, where she faced tough opponents at a young age. Now, as a featherweight, she feels more agile and stronger, thanks to better training and weight management.
Pacheco’s success has not changed her mindset. Despite her championship status and impressive winning streak, she still considers herself the underdog in every fight. She understands the importance of staying humble and focused, as she has witnessed the downfall of fighters who lose touch with their underdog mentality.
Pacheco draws inspiration from the women in her family, who fought for everything they have. Her mother, grandmother, and auntie are her true heroes, and she carries their fighting spirit with her into every battle.
In conclusion, Larissa Pacheco has emerged as the dominant force in the PFL featherweight division. Her skills, determination, and underdog mentality have propelled her to the top of the sport. As she prepares to face Olena Kolesnyk, Pacheco’s sights are set on becoming a two-weight champion and solidifying her status as the face of fighting in Brazil.
- Larissa Pacheco aims to continue her dominance in the PFL featherweight division.
- She faces Olena Kolesnyk in a highly anticipated fight at The Theater at Madison Square Garden.
- Pacheco has replaced Kayla Harrison as the most dominant force in the PFL.
- She is determined to become the PFL’s first two-weight champion and the face of fighting in Brazil.
- Pacheco draws inspiration from the women in her family, who fought for everything they have.