The Professional Fighters League (PFL) delivered another thrilling night of action in the 2022 Regular Season with PFL 3 at Esports Stadium Arlington. The 11-fight event featured the Welterweight and Women’s Lightweight divisions, with TKO finishes from Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald and Larissa Pacheco.
The night’s main event saw two-time PFL Women’s Lightweight Champion Kayla Harrison advance her flawless record to 13-0, and defeated Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous decision in a hard fought battle that earned her three points in the division. Mokhnatkina is the second fighter since Pacheco to take Harrison the distance.
In the evening’s co-main event, two-time returning PFL Welterweight champion Ray Cooper III was defeated by Carlos Leal by unanimous decision. Cooper III missed weight, and left the fight with -1 points in the division standings. Leal won his 11th straight fight en route to ending Cooper III’s six fight winning streak and was awarded three points after the contest.
Pettis made his 2022 season debut in style, earning his first PFL victory over Myles Price via first round submission in a Lightweight matchup. The result awarded Pettis six points and he jumped into first place of the current Lightweight standings. Pettis picked up his 8th submission of his career, and moved his overall record to 25-12-0.
“Tonight was the biggest card in PFL Regular Season history and the fighters delivered unbelievable performances throughout the event,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “I’m excited for what is lining up to be a tremendous second half of the season in Atlanta beginning June 17 with each fighter looking to secure their spot in the PFL Playoffs.”
“PFL 3 tonight lived up to expectations as each fighter put it all on the line in the SmartCage,” said President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo. “MMA fans saw thrilling fights that resulted in impressive knockouts, and included a PFL debutant fighter in Dilano Taylor who took his first step to punching a ticket to the PFL Playoffs.”
MacDonald, a 2021 PFL Welterweight Semifinalist, wasted no time in his 2022 season debut, and defeated Brett Cooper via 1st round submission. MacDonald earned six points in the Welterweight division, and bumped his overall record to 23-8-1, and his 9th career submission.
To begin the main card on ESPN2, Pacheco brought the thunder and made quick work of Zamzagul Fayzallanova, earning six points in the Women’s Lightweight division by way of first TKO. The 2019 PFL Runner-Up has three straight first-round knockouts, and the outcome resulted in the third fastest stoppage in PFL Women’s Lightweight history at the 1:25 mark.
Rounding out the undercard, Joao Zeferino and Dilano Taylor went toe-to-toe in an action packed fight. Taylor pulled off the upset and won the contest via split decision, handing Zeferino his first loss in the PFL. Taylor earned three points in the competitive Welterweight division, and pushed his overall record to 9-1 with eight consecutive wins.
Further action saw 2021 PFL Semifinalist Genah Fabian square off against Julia Budd, who made her PFL Regular Season debut. Fabian earned the victory by unanimous decision, however, due to missing weight, leaves the contest with -1 points. As a result, Budd was awarded three points in the Women’s Lightweight standings in a walkover win.
Nikolai Aleksakhin and Sadibou Sy returned to the PFL SmartCage in the second Welterweight matchup of the night. Sy defeated Aleksakhin via split decision in a bout that went the full distance. The three-time PFL Playoff qualifier earned three points and moved his career record to 10-6-2, with one no contest.
To begin the action in the Welterweight division, Jarrah Al-Silawi made his highly anticipated PFL Regular Season debut against MMA veteran Gleison Tibau. In the end, Al-Silawi came away with the victory, and earned 3 points in the standings by way of split decision. A former two-division Brave champion, Al-Silawi won his fifth consecutive fight, and boosted his overall career record to 18-3-0.
Continued action saw an instant classic between Abigail Montes Olena Kolesnyk. The contest went the full three rounds, with Kolesynk deemed the winner by split decision. Kolesnyk snapped a four-fight losing streak and handed Montes her first pro loss, while improving her career record to 6-4-0, with 1 no contest.
Kicking off the card on ESPN+, PFL Challenger Series week 3 contract winner Martina Jindrova matched up with Vanessa Mello to begin the Women’s Lightweight action of the night. Jindrova continued her success, and earned the victory by unanimous decision. Jindrova, who fights out of the Czech Republic, is a multi-time kickboxing and muay thai champion and earned three points in the standings in her PFL season debut.
The second half of the 2022 PFL Regular Season resumes on June 17 at Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, with Lightweights and Light Heavyweights set to return to the SmartCage. 2021 PFL Champions Antonio Carlos Jr. and Raush Manfio will look to continue their strong starts to the season in hopes of punching their ticket to the 2022 PFL Playoffs.
Women’s Lightweight Division