PFL Introduces Women’s Flyweight Division As Part of Challenger Series

Desiree Yanez joins PFL Challenger Series at flyweight
Desiree Yanez, Bellator 257 Credit: Bellator MMA

The Professional Fighters League is adding a new weight class to this year’s PFL Challenger Series.

In a press release distributed on Wednesday, league officials announced the introduction of the women’s flyweight division to this year’s schedule.

“As we approach the kickoff to the 2023 PFL Challenger Series, we are excited to introduce our new Women’s Flyweight division as a part of this year’s eight-week competition being held live from the backlot of Universal Studios Florida,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo.

The addition marks the third women’s division to have featured under the PFL banner. Prior to this year, the sole weight class for women was lightweight, a division long ruled by Kayla Harrison. Harrison was upset by Brazil’s Larissa Pacheco in last year’s lightweight final.

As of 2023, with Harrison moving to the Super-Fight division, women’s featherweight has been added. Now, the league will also bring in flyweights, with the 125lb Challenger Series run topped by Chelsea Hackett vs. Desiree Yanez.

Hackett (3-1-1) appeared on Dana White’s Contender Series in November of 2020, coming up short against Victoria Leonardo. The Australian has not fought since.

Desiree Yanez (6-4) has previously competed for Combate Global and Bellator MMA. “Dirty Dez” is coming off a win over Natayla Speece at Peak Fighting 24 last October.

Other familiar names on the card include TUF veteran Helen Peralta and UFC alum Shanna Young. Bellator, Invicta FC, and TUF notable Kaytlin “Katniss” Neil also appears.

The PFL Challenger Series women’s flyweight card takes place February 24, 2023 in Orlando, FL. The following match-ups have been announced for the event:

  • Chelsea Hackett vs. Desiree Yanez
  • Kaytlin Neil vs. Griet Eeckhout
  • Shanna Young vs. Sandra Lavado
  • Helen Peralta vs. Lisa Mauldin