How is the PFL rewarding Larissa Pacheco for winning the 2022 women’s featherweight title? By seeing just how prepared she is in 2023.
Pacheco will take on Julia Budd in the co-main event of PFL 2 on April 7. The event airs live on ESPN and ESPN+ from The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.
The 28-year-old Pacheco was the surprise winner at PFL Finals, stunning Kayla Harrison to finish off a perfect run to the gold. Prior to the win, she had dropped both bouts to Harrison, pushing the Olympic gold medalist to the distance both times.
This one, though, was all Pacheco, as she moved to 19-4 overall. During the season, she also topped Olena Kolesnyk, Genah Fabian and Zamzagul Fazallanova.
An old saying in sports states that it is difficult to beat a team three times in a season. Well, Pacheco proved that to be true over the course of a career, as well.
Now, though, she must prove her worth. Budd is one of the legends of the sport, having fought 21 times now for all the major promotions. After winning her PFL debut, though, she was bested by both Fabian and Aspen Ladd last year.
For a fighter who has been in there with the likes of Cris Cyborg, Marloes Coenen, Ronda Rousey and Amanda Nunes, the taste of three consecutive losses is not something she wants to experience for the first time.
PFL 2 is headlined by heavyweight champion Ante Delija taking on Yorgan De Casto along with two more bouts in the division.