The PFL’s 2023 heavyweight and women’s featherweight playoff spots were confirmed at PFL 5 in Atlanta, as one champion progressed to the semi-finals of the season, and another fell by the wayside.
The 2022 women’s lightweight champion Larissa Pacheco showed that she had brought her punch power down a weight class as she demolished Amber Leibrock in just 45 seconds to surge into the featherweight final four in style.
Fighting in the night’s co-main event, Pacheco got to work early and rocked Leibrock in the opening exchanges, forcing the American onto the back foot immediately.
Pacheco kept the pressure on as she let her hands go with vicious intent to score the sub-60-second finish and earn a “Quick 6” victory to guarantee her passage to the knockout stages.
Pacheco will be joined by Marina Mokhnatkina and Olena Kolesnyk, with both women claiming unanimous decision victories to secure their places in the playoffs. Despite her co-main event loss to Pacheco, Leibrock will also compete in the semis, thanks to her spectacular first-round knockout win in her first regular season bout.
It proved to be a bittersweet night for the other champion on show, as 2022 heavyweight king Ante Delija picked up a win over Maurice Greene in the main event. But his victory on the judges’ scorecards wasn’t enough to punch his ticket to the semi-finals as he saw himself eliminated after the regular season stage.
Making it through to the heavyweight semis are Renan Ferreira, Denis Goltzov, and Marcelo Nunes, who all scored first-round knockouts to surge into the playoff places. Joining them in the final four is Jordan Heiderman, who claimed victory via first-round injury TKO over Patrick Brady. The fact that the win came in the first round meant that he bumped Greene out of the playoff places as he earned a spot in the semis.
PFL 5: Official results
- Ante Delija def. Maurice Greene via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Larissa Pacheco def. Amber Leibrock via TKO (punches) – Round 1, 0:45
- Renan Ferreira def. Matheus Scheffel via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:50
- Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Travell Miller via knockout (punches) – Round 1, 1:27
- Aspen Ladd def. Karolina Sobek via submission (armbar) – Round 2, 4:57
- Denis Goltsov def. Yorgan De Castro via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 0:18
- Marina Mokhnatkina def. Evelyn Martins via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
- Marcelo Nunes def. Danilo Marques via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 3:40
- Julia Budd def. Martina Jindrova via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Olena Kolesnyk def. Yoko Higashi via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Jordan Heiderman def. Patrick Brady via TKO (injury) – Round 1, 2:26
- Isaiah Pinson def. Denzel Freeman via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)