The strong and smart Brazilian pulled off a huge upset in the Professional Fighters League. She beat two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison with a unanimous decision in the women's lightweight final of the 2022 PFL Championships, which took place on Friday at Madison Square Garden's Hulu Theater in New York. All three judges gave Pacheco a score of 48-47, which put him in the first place and earned him $1 million.
Harrison (15-1, 14-1 PFL) took a familiar path in the first round, which gave the impression that she was in top shape. She tripped Pacheco and knocked him to the ground, where she held him down and hit him with punches of varying strength.
This earned her points. But Harrison did not take enough from the former Jungle Fight champion to make him give up.
Pacheco came back in the second round, tried to put the American Top Team star in a guillotine choke, and put him on notice. From there, they had a series of back-and-forth exchanges on their feet, in the clinch, and on the ground to see how well they could fight.
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Harrison got several takedowns, but she either got herself into trouble through submissions—in the third round, she was caught in a triangle choke—or was met with fierce resistance from Pacheco's hyperactive bottom game, as the Joao Bastos protege threw punches and hammerfists at high speed from her back.
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When it was time to read the decision, Harrison's face showed that he was ready to give up. Those doubts turned out to be right.