Combat Sports

PFL 10 Main Event Breakdown

|
Image for PFL 10 Main Event Breakdown

In any year, the Thanksgiving holiday weekend has several hallmarks: Family, good food, football and a few extra days off of work. MMA isn’t normally associated with Thanksgiving weekend, but the PFL is out to change that here in 2022.

On Black Friday, a night of champions will be held as New York City’s Hulu Theatre at Madison Square Garden serves as the host venue for PFL 10, also known as the PFL Championships. Friday’s card begins at 5:30 pm ET/ 2:30 pm with the showcase fights on ESPN+. Main card action follows at 8 pm ET/ 5 pm PT on ESPN+ PPV.

You can preorder Friday’s main card, including the PFL 10 main event, right now for $49.99 (USD.) It’s the first time that the promotion will hold an event on pay-per-view.

Compared to the monthly pay-per-view events offered by MMA’s top promotion, the UFC, the $50 value for Friday’s show is $25 cheaper than UFC 281 was earlier this month. As has been the case since January, UFC flagship cards are valued at $74.99 (USD) to existing ESPN+ subscribers.

Which of these fighters tops your UFC Pound for Pound list?

Volkanovski

Volkanovski

Nunes

Nunes

Adesanya

Adesanya

Usman

Usman

Women’s Lightweight Championship At Stake in PFL 10 Main Event Friday

All told, PFL 10 features 12 contests, including title fights in each of the PFL’s six weight divisions. Highlighting the evening’s activities is the battle for the PFL Women’s Lightweight Championship in the PFL 10 main event.

Two-time defending champion Kayla Harrison (15-0 MMA, 3-0 PFL 2022) will put her undefeated record on the line when she takes on challenger Larissa Pacheco (18-4 MMA, 3-0 PFL 2022) in the headlining bout.

As is the case of all the championship fights taking place on Friday evening, the PFL 10 main event will be a maximum of five rounds at five minutes per round to close out the fourth season of the league. All champions will receive a $1 million cash prize.

PFL 10 Main Event Fighter Comparison and Betting Odds

Heading into the PFL’s last bout of 2022, champion Kayla Harrison stands as the taller combatant at 5-foot-8, compared to the 5-foot-6 frame of challenger Larissa Pacheco. The latter owns a three-inch reach advantage over the former (69 inches to 66 inches), but Harrison has a four-inch leg reach (41 inches to 37 inches) over Pacheco.

As it stands currently, the oddsmakers have Kayla Harrison installed as a -600 favorite for Friday night, with Larissa Pacheco as a +425 underdog. If you plan on betting on any of Friday’s fights, please wager responsibly.

Harrison vs. Pacheco: The Trilogy

Friday’s headliner will serve as a trilogy fight between Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco. This has been a one-sided rivalry thus far, with both fights going Harrison’s way in the 2019 season.

Atypical of a Kayla Harrison fight, she had to see those wins confirmed by decision, first during PFL 1 in May of 2019, followed up that New Year’s Eve by her second victory in less than eight months against Pacheco. They haven’t fought each other in close to three years.

How will the third act in this trilogy play out? Tune in and see.

Kayla Harrison Going For Three Straight Championships in PFL 10 Main Event

Kayla Harrison enters the PFL 10 main event on Friday having yet to lose across all competitions. Most recently, she secured a first-round submission by way of arm-triangle choke against Martina Jindrova (6-3 MMA, 1-2 PFL 2022) in the PFL 9 main event back in August.

Even though Harrison said after the fight that summer night in England that she was the best fighter in women’s MMA, on Wednesday’s edition of The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani, the champion walked those comments back.

“I don’t think that I’m the greatest yet,” Harrison said. “I don’t think that I have left a shadow of a doubt, you know? There are a couple of different roads to that, whether it be certain fights or certain promotions. There are multiple paths to greatness, but I’m not there yet.”

Win or lose, Friday night’s headliner will be Harrison’s last appearance in an MMA tournament. She mentioned that she has two matches to go on her current PFL contract once the main event wraps and reiterated that she’d eventually prefer to fight Cris Cyborg.

Will she be the first fighter in PFL history to threepeat at 155 lbs.?

Pacheco Wants To End Harrison’s Reign

In the other corner, Larissa Pacheco has gone 5-0 in her last five MMA appearances as part of a streak dating back to the spring of 2021. Last time out, she scored a first-round knockout (left hook followed by ground and pound strikes) against Olena Kolesnyk (7-5, 1 NC MMA, 2-1 PFL 2022) in August.

She’s won every fight in her streak by knockout. Recently, Pacheco was interviewed by Tudor Leonte, where she mentioned that she has one outcome in mind for the PFL 10 main event: A knockout.

“I know that she’s good,” Pacheco said of Harrison. “She’s a better grappler, but I’d be better now. I’m training a lot for fighting for her.”

Later on, she discussed how crucial it is for her career that she’s main-eventing the first PFL pay-per-view.

“This is very important because my face will stay in TV all over the world,” she said. “No, the people know who I am. This is very good for me, for my career.”

The time for talk is just about over. How will Pacheco respond to the pressure? Only time will tell.

Analysis, Film Study, and Prediction

Stylistically, the PFL 10 main event on Friday looks to favor Kayla Harrison, a former Olympic gold-medalist and 6th dan black belt in judo, compared to Larissa Pacheco’s background in Muay-Thai. This looks to be another strength versus strength matchup.

Whose strength will be most advantageous this weekend?

Harrison Can End the Show Quickly

By now, Kayla Harrison’s submission prowess is well-documented. Six of her wins have come by way of submission thus far in her career, including her most recent win against Jindrova back in August.

Both fighters began the contest by showing their patience, biding their time in hopes of landing that big blow. Harrison caught a Jindrova kick to take her down, and from there, it was only a matter of time.

She eventually took mount and landed a flurry of ground and pound shots as a means of softening Jindrova up. At this point, Harrison applied enough torque to lock in an arm-triangle submission inside the first round.

If Harrison is able to take Pacheco to the ground, the PFL 10 main event is a wrap.

Pacheco Has Brutal Punches

In the other corner, watch for Larissa Pacheco to try and counter by landing big punches. She’s knocked out every opponent she’s faced this season, including Zamzagul Fayzallanova back in May.

Although the fight was slated for three rounds at five minutes per round, Pacheco needed less than a full round to notch the victory this past spring.

Pacheco scored with multiple punches right from the command to fight that evening, forcing Fayzallanova to try to cover up. Although it worked for a moment, Pacheco was just too tough for her in the long run.

She landed a flurry of punches to back Fayzallanova up against the cage fence and eventually knock her down. Referee Kerry Hatley intervened and called the fight in under 90 seconds.

If Pacheco can land punches in bunches, she’ll pull off the upset.

Final Thoughts

The PFL 10 main event could be the most important fight ever to take place in women’s MMA. If Kayla Harrison wins, she leaves tournaments behind after a three-peat and her status among the greats is confirmed.

If Larissa Pacheco wins, it’s the upset of the year in the sport. Cash prize or no, the stakes are at their highest this Friday.

Main Image Credit Getty Images

Embed from Getty Images

Prediction: Kayla Harrison by First-Round Submission.

Share this article

Drew Zuhosky has been writing about MMA since the spring of 2018. A graduate of Youngstown State University in Youngstown, OH, Drew enjoys a good game and an even better fight. When he's not writing, you can find him playing video games and listening to music.