Kayla Harrison, Anthony Pettis, and Rory MacDonald all advance in the PFL Season

Kayla Harrison, Anthony Pettis, and Rory MacDonald all advance in the PFL Season

By Verdict MMA
Monday, May 9th 2022, 2:45AM, 7 months ago

The PFL wrapped up the first half of their 2022 Regular Season on May 6th in what was perhaps the biggest event in PFL history. The card featured names like Kayla Harrison, Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, Ray Cooper III, and more. Let’s take a look at what took place at this event.

Kayla Harrison goes to a decision

Kayla Harrison attempts a front kick. (Professional Fighters League)
Kayla Harrison attempts a front kick. (Professional Fighters League)

After months of contract negotiations, Kayla Harrison finally made her return to action at PFL 3. Harrison competed in 4 fights in 2021 and finished every opponent she fought. Many expected her to continue the finishing streak in her 2022 return against Sambo World Champion Marina Mokhnatkina. Harrison won the fight, but she didn’t get the stoppage. The fight went all 3 rounds and saw Harrison earn a unanimous decision win. This was just the 3rd decision win of Harrison’s career. With this win, Harrison extended her professional record to a perfect 13-0.

ADVERTISEMENT
Carlos Leal defeats a former Champion

Carlos Leal lands a knee against Ray Cooper III. (Professional Fighters League)
Carlos Leal lands a knee against Ray Cooper III. (Professional Fighters League)

Carlos Leal capitalized on the biggest fight of his career by defeating former 2x PFL Champion Ray Cooper III. Cooper got off to a bad start on fight week as he missed weight by 5.4 lbs. With that being said, Cooper was still a big favorite heading into the fight as 86% of the Verdict Community predicted him to defeat Leal. Unfortunately for the majority, Leal methodically picked Cooper apart with his striking. There were several moments in the fight where Leal hurt Cooper. Cooper had a late burst in the 3rd round, but it was too late. Leal went on to defeat Cooper by unanimous decision. Unless Cooper does something spectacular in his next fight, it looks like this could be the first time in 4+ years that he will not be qualifying for the PFL Playoffs. Carlos Leal is a fresh coat of paint in the PFL’s Welterweight division as he’s on an 11 fight winning streak and just defeated the face of the PFL’s Welterweight division.

Anthony Pettis earns his first PFL win

Anthony Pettis locks in a triangle choke from the top. (Professional Fighters League)
Anthony Pettis locks in a triangle choke from the top. (Professional Fighters League)

After a lacklustre 2021 where he went 0-2 in the PFL, Anthony Pettis bounced back in a big way in his 2022 return as he finished Myles Price with a 1st round submission. As soon as the fight began, Price attempted a single leg but Pettis scrambled and dictated the action. The fight ended up back on the floor late in the 1st round and that’s when Pettis finished Price with a triangle choke. This win is going to pay dividends for Pettis as the season goes on as he earns 6 points which significantly increases his chances of entering the PFL Playoffs.

ADVERTISEMENT
Rory MacDonald gets off to a great start

Rory MacDonald squeezes the neck of Brett Cooper. (Professional Fighters League)
Rory MacDonald squeezes the neck of Brett Cooper. (Professional Fighters League)

Like his fellow former UFC colleague, Rory MacDonald earned a 1st round submission win in his return to the PFL this year by finishing Brett Cooper with a rear-naked choke. MacDonald, who was primarily known as a striker, now has more submission wins on his record than knockout wins. Given the nature of the PFL format, MacDonald’s key to success might be using his wrestling and avoiding risks where he doesn’t need to take them. MacDonald walked away from this fight unscathed and with 6 points.

Larissa Pacheco looks vicious

Larissa Pacheco lands a right hand. (Professional Fighters League)
Larissa Pacheco lands a right hand. (Professional Fighters League)

Prior to this event, Larissa Pacheco was the only fighter in history that Kayla Harrison couldn’t finish. Pacheco had a successful 2021 in the PFL as she won 2 consecutive fights by 1st round knockout. Unfortunately, her year came to a bitter end after a failed weight cut disqualified her from competing in the Playoffs. Pacheco returned to the PFL this year with the same intensity that she started 2021 off with as she finished Zamzagul Fayzallanova by 1st round knockout. As soon as Pacheco landed the 1st punch, Fayzallanova was on the retreat. Pacheco swarmed and got the stoppage just 85 seconds into the 1st round. With this win, Pacheco now has 3 consecutive 1st round knockout wins.

HOME OF COMBAT
Submit picks and score rounds with the Verdict MMA app.
Write a Comment
Community Guidelines
Please Log In or Sign Up
Comments
There seems to be no comments, be the first!
Read More
See all
Verdict's Sleeper Fight of The Week: Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
Verdict's Sleeper Fight of The Week: Billy Quarantillo vs. Alexander Hernandez
UFC 282 Odds Breakdown
2 comments
UFC 282 Odds Breakdown
Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes lll Set For ONE U.S. Live Event Debut
1 comments
Demetrious Johnson vs. Adriano Moraes lll Set For ONE U.S. Live Event Debut
UFC Orlando: 5 Fights to make in the Welterweight Division
UFC Orlando: 5 Fights to make in the Welterweight Division
Breakout Star of The Night: UFC Orlando
Breakout Star of The Night: UFC Orlando
OverUnder
All of your weekly MMA updates in one place.
Keeping up to date with combat sports news can take up a lot of time, so we’re simplifying the process by bringing the most important stories directly to you. We read the internet all week and then summarize what you need to know in 3-4 minutes.
Enter your email to sign up for the OverUnder newsletter. The first email newsletter in MMA.
By subscribing, you will receive a weekly MMA newsletter from Verdict MMA. You can unsubscribe at any time.