LONDON – The Professional Fighters League resumed its 2022 playoffs with an entertaining night of action at 2022 PFL Playoffs 3 live from Copper Box Arena. The evening's card featured four playoff bouts across the featherweight and women's lightweight divisions, and four fighters punched their ticket to the 2022 PFL World Championship.
In the night's main event, Kayla Harrison wasted little time advancing to her third straight PFL World Championship with a first-round submission victory over Martina Jindrova. Harrison made her triumphant return to London, the site of her first Olympic gold medal win, and remained undefeated at 15-0, with 12 wins having come by way of stoppage. She now sets her sights on Larissa Pacheco and her third women's lightweight championship.
In the evening's co-main event, Brendan Loughnane and Chris Wade took their bad blood into the SmartCage, in one of the night's most eagerly anticipated matchups. Loughnane took the fight to Wade with a consistent jab, and earned his spot in the 2022 PFL World Championship via unanimous decision. Loughnane, a native from Manchester, England, did not disappoint his countrymen, and now faces Bubba Jenkins in a championship fight for the $1 million purse.
Top seeded women's lightweight Larissa Pacheco dominated her way to a second trip to the PFL World Championship, defeating Olena Kolesnyk by first-round TKO. Pacheco's fifth straight first-round knockout earned her a highly anticipated rematch against Harrison for the PFL world title. Pacheco's career record now stands at 18-4, with nine victories coming by way of knockout.
The 2022 PFL Playoffs continued in the featherweight division, where Bubba Jenkins faced off against Ryoji Kudo, with a trip to the PFL World Championship on the line. Jenkins put on a masterful display defeating Kudo via first-round submission. Jenkins advanced to his first PFL World Championship in his second PFL season and will now face Loughnane in the 2022 championship matchup. Jenkins, an NCAA Champion wrestler, boosted his career record to 19-5 with the victory.
"The PFL Playoffs saw world class action from New York City to PFL debuts in Cardiff and London, as the stage is now set for the biggest night in MMA," PFL CEO Peter Murray said. "The PFL World Championship will see fighters across six weight classes compete for PFL championships and $6 million in prizes."
"Tonight was a fitting finale to the 2022 PFL Playoffs, as our world-class athletes consistently showed heart and determination," PFL president of fighter operations Ray Sefo said. "Congratulations to the fighters moving on to the 2022 PFL World Championship. I am looking forward to capping off the 2022 campaign watching the best of the best square off with titles and prizes on the line."
In her PFL debut, Dakota Ditcheva earned a first-round TKO victory over Hassna Jaber. The referee stopped the contest keeping the Manchester native's perfect 6-0 record intact. Dakota is the daughter of Lisa Howarth, a world champion in kickboxing, muay Thai and karate. The victory guaranteed her spot in the 2023 PFL Europe season.
To begin the ESPN card, London native Simeon Powell matched up with Joao Paulo Fagundes in a light heavyweight bout. Powell remained undefeated with a victory via second-round TKO and now boasts a record of 7-0. Powell, who earned a PFL contract in the 2022 PFL Challenger Series, is now 3-0 in the PFL at just 23 years old.
Further action saw three PFL Europe qualifying bouts with each winner earning a spot in the inaugural PFL Europe season. The first qualifying match was a bantamweight clash between Ali Taleb and Darius Mafi. Taleb kept his undefeated streak alive at 8-0, finish ing Mafi by first-round submission and clinching a spot in the 2023 PFL Europe season.
In the next PFL Europe qualifying match, Magnus Iverson defeated Tayo Odunjo via first-round TKO. Iverson landed heavy punches to the body and head, earning a 2023 PFL Europe roster spot. Iverson, born in Nigeria and fighting out of Oslo, remains undefeated at 3-0.
The final PFL Europe qualifier featured Louie Sutherland and Abraham Bably in a heavyweight matchup. Bably defeated Sutherland via unanimous decision and earned a spot in the 2023 PFL Europe season. The London, England native improved his record to 2-0.
The action in London concluded with Marcin Held and Myles Price competing in a lightweight showcase bout. Held collected the victory after a successful guillotine choke submission in the 2nd round, and improved his record to 28-9.
The third PFL showcase bout took place in the heavyweight division with a matchup featuring Stuart Austin and Sofiane Boukichou. After three full rounds, Austin took the victory by split decision and earned his first PFL win.
In a lightweight division PFL showcase bout, Omar Hussein took on Alex Chizov. Chizov won the fight via second-round submission, executing a rear-naked choke. Nine of Chizov's last 10 wins have come by way of finish, and his career record now sits at 10-1.
Kicking off the card on ESPN+ was a showcase bout between Zebenzui Ruiz and Raphael Uchegbu. Ruiz, the first fighter to represent Spain in the PFL, defeated Uchegbu by unanimous decision and the victory marked his fourth straight win and moved his career record to 11-3.
The stage is set for the biggest night in MMA, the 2022 PFL World Championship, where $6 million in prize money awaits six PFL world champions. Harrison will seek her third consecutive PFL world championship in the women's lightweight division, while 2021 heavyweight runner-up Ante Delija will return to the finals with his sights set on a title.
All PFL 2022 Season events are live on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN+ and ESPN3 (Spanish), as well as on premier global distribution partner platforms reaching 160 countries around the world.
2022 PFL Playoffs 3 results include:
- Kayla Harrison def. Martina Jindrova via submission (arm-triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:17
- Brendan Loughnane def. Chris Wade via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Larissa Pacheco def. Olena Kolesnyk via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 2:09
- Bubba Jenkins def. Ryoji Kudo via submission (rear-naked choke – Round 1, 1:49
- Dakota Ditcheva def. Hassna Jaber via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 0:58)
- Simeon Powell def. Joao Paulo Fagundes via TKO (leg kicks) – Round 2, 1:56
2023 PFL EUROPE QUALIFIERS
- Abraham Bably defeats Louie Sutherland by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Magnus Iversen def. Tayo Odunjo via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 4:36)
- Ali Taleb def. Darius Mafi via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 1:58)
- Marcin Held def. Myles Price via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 2, 2:37)
- Stuart Austin def. Sofiane Boukichou via split decision (30-27, 29-28, 28-29)
- Alex Chizov def. Omar Hussein via submission (rear-naked choke) – Round 2, 4:12)
- Zebenzui Ruiz def. Raphael Uchegbu via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-27)