Along with heavyweight action, PFL 8 will feature the women’s featherweight semifinals on Friday. The event takes place from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, airing live on ESPN and streaming on ESPN+.
PFL 8: Larissa Pacheco Seeks Another Title
Reiging lightweight champion Larissa Pacheco looks to move one step closer to becoming the featherweight champion when she faces Olena Kolesnyk at PFL 8.
The event takes place Friday live on ESPN and ESPN+ from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the main event, Renan Ferreira and Maurice Greene collide in one of the heavyweight semifinals.
Along with Pacheco vs. Kolesnyk, the other female featherweight fight sees Marina Mokhnatkina battle Amber Leibrock.
Here is a closer look at those two fights for the upcoming PFL 8 event.
Larissa Pacheco Vs. Olena Kolesnyk
Pacheco took this opportunity to compete at a new weight class and ran with it, running through Julia Budd and Leibrock on her way to reaching the semifinals. Overall, she is 21-4 and riding a eight-fight win streak that includes her 2022 win over Kayla Harrison in the lightweight finals.
Of her four career defeats, two have come at the hands of Harrison, while the other two are against former UFC champions Germaine de Randamie and Jessica Andrade.
Needless to say, this will be the toughest challenge of Kolesnyk’s career. She is 9-5 overall and earned wins over Yoko Higashi and Aspen Ladd to reach this point.
Last year, Pacheco scored a first round finish against her in the PFL playoffs. The two also met in 2021 with Pacheco earning the victory.
Marina Mokhnatkina Vs. Amber Leibrock
Mokhnatkina, a 35-year-old from Russia, has won each of her last four fights, with two finishes during that stretch. Her 2022 run was halted by a loss to Harrison, but she has come back stronger this year.
Along with finishing Higashi, she also earned a decision win vs. Evelyn Martins this past June. Prior to her MMA run, Mokhnatkina was a six-time gold medalist at the World Championships in Sambo.
Leibrock won her PFL debut in April with a devastating head-kick knockout of Martina Jindrova. That helped her advance to the final four despite losing to Pacheco in June at PFL 5. The loss snapped a four-fight win streak that dated back to 2020.
Since turning pro in 2015, Leibrock has shared the cage with some elite talent including Marina Shafir, Megan Anderson and Arlene Blencowe.