The Professional Fighters League (PFL) held their 3rd event of 2022 - PFL 3 - Friday night in Arlington, Texas. The PFL, known for its innovative technology, diverse roster, and top-tier presentation, looked to ride the momentum of a successful season 4. The star-studded card featured some of the top fighters in MMA including Kayla Harrison, Anthony Pettis, Rory Mcdonald, and more. Viewers got their money's worth - whether they attended the event, or caught it on ESPN Plus.
In the main event, two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison defeated Marina Mokhnatkina via unanimous decision. Harrison controlled most of the fight with her world-class judo and excellent ground control, but Mokhnatkina didn't come to lose. Harrison is likely the most dominant female fighter in the sport so it was surprising to see her struggle to impose her will on her opponent - for once.
At the PFL 3 weigh-ins, Harrison described this fight as "another day at the office" but that didn't turn out to be the case. Mokhnatkina defended more takedowns than any of us - including Harrison - expected, but seemed to have trouble getting her strikes off when Harrison stood in front of her. Still, though, Harrison (13-0 5KO) earned a unanimous decision victory and continues the journey to capture her 3rd PFL Women's Lightweight Championship.
Former WEC & UFC Lightweight Champion Anthony Pettis had a successful night as well, earning a first-round submission over Myles Price. Pettis, who struggled to get going last season, called this season "all about redemption." Physically, Pettis looked outstanding and his performance was just that.
Price started the fight with a telegraphed takedown that Pettis defended and capitalized on with a well-placed uppercut. After gaining top control and landing some ground n' pound, Pettis locked in a triangle chokehold that would earn him a first-round submission and a 'quick six' in the PFL Lightweight standings. "I think I have more triangle submissions than knockouts now," Pettis said at the post-fight press conference. "My triangles are dangerous."
Another stand-out performance came from Lightweight contender Larissa Pacheco who earned a first-round knockout over Zamzagul Fayzallanova. From the opening bell, Pacheco pressured Fayzallanova sticking the jab at her and winging right hands behind them. Fayzallanov moved well, circling away from the power of Pacheco, but was eventually cornered against the cage where she was knocked out.
Pacheco, one of the top contenders in the Lightweight division, met Kayla Harrison on two occasions, falling short by unanimous decision both times. Last season, Pacheco was unable to compete in the final after she missed weight and called Harrison "lucky" that their third bout was canceled. Pacheco has now knocked out her past three opponents and seems to be the most dangerous threat to Harrison's throne.
Full card results:
Kayla Harrison def. Marina Mokhnatkina via Unanimous Decision
Carlos Leal def. Ray Cooper III via Unanimous Decision
Anthony Pettis def. Myles Price via Submission Round 1
Rory MacDonald def. Brett Cooper via Submission Round 1
Larissa Pacheco def. Zamzagul Fayzallanova via TKO Round 1
Dilano Taylor def. Joao Zeferino via Split Decision
Genah Fabian def. Julia Budd via Unanimous Decision
Sadibou Sy def. Nikolay Aleksahkin via Split Decision
Jarrah Al-Silawi def. Gleison Tibau via Split Decision
Olena Kolesnyk def. Abigail Montes via Split Decision
Martina Jindrova def. Vanessa Melo via Unanimous Decision