Tonight the PFL had their crowning event of the season with six world championship fights and six million dollars on the line. In the main event, Kayla Harrison (15-1) was seeking to win her third PFL championship while defeating Larissa Pacheco (19-4) for the third time.
After one round tonight, it looked like the same old story with Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco. Harrison got her to the mat and dominated. However, everything after the first round was a struggle for Harrison. Pacheco landed massive bombs and Harrison couldn’t do much whenever she got top position.
Heading into the final round, I had it 2-2 as did the judges. Pacheco had a great first half of the round, but Harrison spent the second half on top after a scramble. Pacheco landed the better shots and got the nod pulling off the massive upset to dethrone Harrison and become PFL lightweight champion.
In the co-main event, we saw an absolute war for the featherweight title. Brendan Loughnane (26-4) took on Bubba Jenkins (19-6). Heading into the bout, I figured if Jenkins couldn’t land takedowns, he had no shot. Well, he was busting up Loughnane with his hands throughout the fight.
However, Loughnane was really busting up Jenkins leg with calf kicks and he was landing solid as well. As the rounds went on, Loughnane kept landing more and more from range. In the fourth round, a huge right straight crumbled Jenkins and Loughnane followed up to win the PFL featherweight title.
In the heavyweight championship bout, Ante Delija (23-5) took on Matheus Scheffel (17-9). Both men came to bang tonight and they wasted no time going after each other. Immediate heat was thrown in the middle of the cage with both men desperately wanting that million dollar check.
Delija was able to catch Scheffel with a big left hook that sent the Brazilian back against the fence. From there, Delija delivered a brutal combination against the fence that reminded me of Chuck Liddell – Tito Ortiz 1. Delija got the TKO win and the PFL heavyweight crown.
In the lightweight championship bout, Olivier Aubin-Mercier (17-5) took on Stevie Ray (25-11). In the first round of their bout, OAM did a ton of damage to the lead calf of Ray. However, Ray survived and lived on to fight into the second round.
In that round, Ray was able to get the back of OAM. OAM remained composed and survived with Ray all over him in the second. He was able to work his way back to his feet and upon them standing, he landed a massive right hook that knocked Ray out cold. Olivier Aubin-Mercier made a statement in his 2022 PFL championship victory.
In the welterweight finale, we saw a technical striking bout between Sabibou Sy (13-6) and Dilano Taylor (10-3). While it wasn’t he most action-packed fight, Sy was able to control the range and get the better of the exchanges on his way to winning a lopsided decision and the 2022 PFL welterweight title.
Kicking off the title bouts of the evening was a sensational bout between Rob Wilkinson (17-2) and Omari Akhmedov (24-8). In this bout, these two wasted no time going right after each other. Both men were throwing big power bombs, but the size and reach was a big advantage for Wilkinson.
Wilkinson brutalized Akhmedov through the first two rounds of the fight. Akhmedov was bleeding all over the place and the referee nearly stopped it twice. In between rounds, the doctor called off the fight after a cut was deemed too bad for Akhmedov to continue. A huge win for Wilkinson in capturing his PFL title.
High Profiled Debuts
In addition to the championship fights tonight, we saw a couple of high level PFL debuts. One of those was former top UFC contender Aspen Ladd (10-3) who was taking on former Bellator world champion Julia Budd (16-5).
In the first round, Ladd was able to secure a big takedown and dominate the round. The next two rounds featured a very close back-and-forth battle between the two contenders. In the end, Ladd did enough to earn a close split decision.
Also making his debut this evening was “Magic” Marlon Moraes (23-11) as he was taking on a familiar foe in Sheymon Moraes (15-6). Marlon was looking to snap a four-fight losing streak as he made his PFL debut. He had fought and defeated Sheymon back in their WSOF days.
Through two rounds, Marlon looked sensational. However, in the third round, Sheymon landed a massive right hand that sat Marlon down. Sheymon followed up and got the TKO win. A crushing defeat for Marlon Moraes who has now lost five in a row and all by stoppage.