The Professional Fighters League made its London debut on Saturday, with PFL 9 touching down inside the Copperbox Arena in London, England.
Featured on the card were the men’s featherwieght and women’s lightweight semifinals, and Kayla Harrison and Brendan Loughnane were the big stars of the evening.
Loughnane, for his part, found himself in something of a grudge match with 2021 finalist Chris Wade. But over the course of three rounds, the British featherweight was able to neutralize the American’s wrestling, while winning the stand-up battles en route to a unanimous decision victory.
With his spot in the finals secure, Loughnane will go on to face Bubba Jenkins, who submitted Ryoji Kudo earlier in the night to advance. There’s no bad blood between the pair, who embraced following Loughnane’s win and voiced their respect for one another.
In the evening’s main event, Kayla Harrison caught an early kick carelessly fired by Martina Jindrova, and quickly had the fight on the ground. Harrison sat in side control, putting intense pressure on Jindrova before passing to mount. Ground n’ pound followed; Jindrova tried to clamp down with a body lock and tie Harrison up. It didn’t work. Harrison postured up and landed several more strikes before sinking in an arm-triangle choke and forcing the tap.
Her fifteenth win in fifteen fights sees Harrison advance to the women’s lightweight final, where she’ll attempt to win her third PFL championship against a familiar foe: Larissa Pacheco. Pacheco stopped Olena Kolesnyk earlier in the evening to set up a third fight with Harrison, who holds a 2-0 edge in their career series.
“I am the queen of women’s MMA!” Harrison boasted following the fight, calling out the Brazilian for a fight on the spot. That won’t happen, but they will meet in a highly anticipated showdown later this year.