Larissa Pacheco never expected a shot at a million dollars so early in her fighting career.
Atlantic City, NJ — In her opening bout of the PFL 2019 season, Brazil’s Larissa Pacheco gave Olympic champion Kayla Harrison the biggest test of her career. While she didn’t get the win that night, Pacheco certainly made an impression. At PFL 4 on July 11, she built on that, earning a submission win over Canada’s Bobbi Jo Dalziel.
The first round finish for the lightweight scored Pacheco six points and a spot in the league’s post-season. Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press after the fight, Pacheco said that she was feeling “super, super happy” with her performance. “This victory is so important for me, especially because it was quite fast and I got my six points. I’m not hurt, I feel great. I’m just very happy, that’s basically the only thing I feel right now.”
“I’m so happy to be representing Brazil. Bobbi Jo is super, super tough on the feet, I knew that going in,” she continued. “But I trained so hard to implement my game, and annul hers. So that I wouldn’t even give her any opportunity.”
Now, moving into the post season, Pacheco says that “I made my own challenge to myself, I want Kayla again. I want to run that back, obviously because I lost. But at the moment, I’m just ready to go. Whoever they put in front of me, let’s do it.”
While the final playoff bracket wasn’t set at the time, Pacheco will have to wait a little to get her hands on Harrison. ‘Judo Kayla’ will face Genah Fabian in the semifinals. Pacheco instead will take on Sarah Kaufman. Either way, “I’m trying to finish as fast as possible, with the hands on the feet, or on the ground, I’m going to get it done,” she added.
The shot at a million dollars was never something she expected, she told Cageside Press at the Oceans Casino Resort post-fight. “No. I’m only 24 years old I have so much time to grow. It’s that much closer right now, and it’s an incredible thing to feel, that I’m very, very close to the million. And I’m still new, so we have plenty of time to get better.”
The money is a huge motivator, of course. “The only thing I’m thinking about right now is training super, super hard to get to that million,” Pacheco said. “I want to win this million, fight for as long as I can, and retire with a whole lot of money.”
The playoff format, sudden death, won’t change how the Brazilian approaches the fight. “Same preparation, strong, always training, getting in there and working hard constantly. After I lost to Kayla, as soon as I got back to Brazil, I got right back into the swing of things. No vacation, no time off, and I plan to do the same thing here.”
For more from PFL 4 2019 winner Larissa Pacheco, watch the full post-fight press scrum above.