PFL 5’s Larissa Pacheco Intends to Become Two-Division Champ, Best Fighter in the World

Atlanta, GA — A stunning performance by PFL women’s lightweight champ Larissa Pacheco, now competing as a featherweight, locked up the first seed in this year’s playoffs for the Brazilian this past Friday.

At PFL 5 in Atlanta, Pacheco came storming out of the gate, fists flying, and quickly put away Amber Leibrock, who had come into the fight on a full head of steam care of her own highlight reel finish earlier this year.

Despite the quick finish, Pacheco (21-4) made it clear that she did not underestimate Leibrock. “I’m very happy, but I never underestimate my opponents, and you’ll never see me be like that,” the 28-year old said following the victory, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press. “I always respect all of them.”

The win sets up a rematch with Olena Kolesnyk, whom she has faced twice before. And once again, Pacheco will not be overlooking the Ukrainian.

“I fought her twice, I knocked her out twice, but that don’t mean that I don’t respect her. I respect everybody. But I’m going to come out there and try to knock her out or submit her like I always do. That’s the way I fight.”

Perhaps better than anyone, Pacheco understands the importance of respecting opponents, even if you have a couple of wins on them already. Pacheco had lost to Kayla Harrison twice when she met the Olympian in last year’s women’s lightweight final; many had written her off. Instead, she became the first woman to beat Harrison in MMA, winning the title and a million dollars in the process.

Now, she is chasing a second belt in the featherweight division. “I’m going to become a two-time PFL champion, two divisions,” she exclaimed on Friday. “I’m going to be the best fighter in the world.”

Watch the full 2023 PFL 5 post-fight press conference appearance by Larissa Pacheco above.