PFL 5: Larissa Pacheco Wants to Share Card With Francis Ngannou

Atlanta, GA — Women’s lightweight 2022 champ and current featherweight Larissa Pacheco has had more of the spotlight on her than ever before after becoming the first fighter to defeat Olympic gold medallist and two-time PFL champ Kayla Harrison.

Pacheco is now one of the favorites to become the first two-division champ in the PFL, with the promotion switching from lightweight to featherweight for the ladies this year. Coming off a win over Julia Budd, Pacheco gave her reaction to the increased attention ahead of PFL 5 in Atlanta.

“It’s not too much of a problem for me, I expected that. I knew that becoming champion, it would be a problem I had,” said Pacheco (20-4). “It’s actually really good, because people talk more about me. I’m ready for it.”

Paired up with Amber Leibrock this Friday, who is fresh off a highlight reel head kick KO, Pacheco had a feeling the fight could be forthcoming.

“I know the event likes to test me, I’ve fought all the big girls in the other division, and I knew that that could be my next opponent — and I’m ready for it.”

Pacheco also touched on the state of the women’s featherweight division, in the wake of Amanda Nunes’ retirement. And she agrees that it’s a good time for the weight class.

“I really do. I think it’s good for the bigger girls, because there’s not only good girls at 125 and 135, there’s a lot of good girls in these divisions. And I think it’s a great opportunity, they deserve an opportunity to show their talent too. So I think it’s really good.”

As for Francis Ngannou signing with the Professional Fighters League, Larissa Pacheco wants on whatever card he’s fighting on. “I would love to be on the same card, I’m sure it’s going to be in a big stadium, bring a lot of visibility. So please, put me on that card!”

Watch the full 2023 PFL 5 media day appearance by Larissa Pacheco above.