Sizing up PFL’s women’s lightweight division for the 2021 season

Daniel Cunningham
MMA, PFL
MMA, PFL

The return of PFL is upon us. The Pro Fight League has spent the last week releasing it’s rosters for their upcoming season in 2021. The promotion didn’t hold a season last year due to the ongoing pandemic.

However, with new safety measures in place, PFL is ready to go for their 2021 season. One of the division’s they will spend a lot of time advertising is their women’s lightweight division. Of course, that division is led by Kayla Harrision (8-0).

Harrison is a former Olympic Gold Medalist in Judo and the reigning PFL lightweight champion. Despite the promotion not having a season in 2020, Harrison was still able to get a fight in under the Invicta promotion.

Harrison took on Courtney King in November and completely battered her over two rounds before the fight was stopped. The significance of this matchup was that it took place at featherweight and Harrison made that weight cut for the first time in her MMA career.

We all know that there are future superfights out there for Harrison if she fights at 145 pounds. However, she will return to 155 pounds where she is the champion for PFL‘s upcoming season that begins on April 23rd.

PFL lightweights to watch

You will notice that there is one big name missing from PFL’s upcoming lightweight season. That name would be the pound-for-pound best boxer in the world, Claressa Shields (10-0 in boxing).

PFL made waves when they signed Shields in 2020. As mentioned, Shields is a boxer and hasn’t made her MMA debut yet. Shields is currently scheduled to take on the current female super welterweight champion, Marie Eve Dicaire, on March 5th.

After Shields has that boxing match, her focus will turn to her MMA debut. She’s expected to make her debut later in 2021. In terms of the other lightweights in this tournament, there are two names to watch out for.

One fighter I have my eyes on is Cindy Dandois (16-5). Dandois will be making her PFL debut and she’s carrying a four-fight winning into the ring. She could make some waves in this year’s season.

The other fighter I’m watching for is Larissa Pacheo (13-4). Pacheo has already faced Harrison twice in PFL and fell short both times. She’s a UFC veteran and her four career losses are to Harrison, Germaine de Randamie, and Jessica Andrade. Not a bad group to lose to.

I’m very excited to see PFL back up and running in 2021. They’ve made some big signings and this year should be a lot of fun. I’m very intrigued by this lightweight division and I’m interested to see if anyone can take down Kayla Harrison.