🥋🥊 PFL London is ready to rumble as the Professional Fighters League comes to the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park as part of a double-header of UK play-off action.
NEWSFLASH: PFL London is a wrap! Congratulations to Kayla Harrison, Brendan Loughnane, Larissa Pacheco & Bubba Jenkins who earned their spots in the 2022 PFL World Championship finals. See below for a review of the semi-final action.
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PFL LONDON 2022 REVIEW
The Professional Fighters League (PFL) resumed its 2022 Playoffs with an entertaining night of action at PFL 9 live from Copper Box Arena in London, England. 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 (pictured below) wasted little time advancing to her third straight PFL World Championship with a 1st 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 (pictured in action below) 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 1st round TKO. Pacheco’s fifth straight 1st round knockout earned her a highly anticipated rematch against Kayla Harrison for the PFL world title. Pacheco’s career record now stands at 18-4, with 9 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 1st round submission. Jenkins advanced to his first PFL World Championship in his second PFL season and will now face Brendan Loughnane in the 2022 championship matchup. Jenkins, an NCAA Champion wrestler, boosted his career record to 19-5-0 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,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “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,” said PFL President of Fighter Operations Ray Sefo. “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.”
PFL LONDON 2022 PREVIEW
The Professional Fighters League is one of the fastest-growing and innovative sports properties in the world and news first broke at a press conference in May that the American mixed martial arts league would visit the capital, when it announced its three dates for the 2022 play-offs including PFL London at the Copper Box Arena where Kayla Harrison and Chris Wade are among the stars set to headline.
New York will play host to the first week of the play-offs on which take place on Friday 5 August at the Hulu Theater inside the famous Madison Square Garden. From there the PFL heads to Motorpoint Arena in Cardiff, Wales, on 13 August before arriving at the Copper Box on Saturday 20 August for the final leg of the play-offs.
Light-heavyweights and lightweights will open things up in New York, heavyweights and welterweights compete in Wales before men’s featherweights and women’s lightweights close out the play-offs this evening in London. At stake is a place in the 2022 PFL World Championship.
ONES TO WATCH
Double Olympic and MMA champion Kayla Harrison tops the bill tonight against Czech Republic’s Martina Jindrova. In the other women’s lightweight semi-final bout Larissa Pacheco faces Olena Kolesnyk. Harrison returns to the city where she won the first of her two Olympic judo gold medals (at London 2012) on a mission to maintain her perfect record in the PFL where she has won back-to-back titles. Jindrova will not be a pushover however, having had quite a run in 2022 starting with a contract-winning performance in the Challenger Series and continued with a pair of wins during her first PFL Regular Season.
In the men’s featherweight play-offs expect the action to be fiery between Chris Wade and Brendan Loughnane. Wade may have been overlooked after making the drop down to the featherweight division ahead of the 2021 Season, but the Long Islander opened everyone’s eyes when he made a spectacular run to the Finals and he’s looked even better in 2022. He’s had his eye on Loughnane for some time and there is no love lost between these two competitors. The fiery Brit has verbally sparred with Wade over the course of the year and now the two will have their chance to settle it in the cage. Loughnane is especially excited to be returning to the UK after nearly four years of fighting abroad.
Meeting in the other semi-final are Ryoji Kudo who faces off with former NCAA Div. I wrestling champion Bubba Jenkins for a chance to fight for the featherweight title and the $1 million that comes along with it.
Also on the card tonight is British MMA star Dakota Ditcheva making her PFL debut. Ditcheva, who was one of the most sought-after athletes in MMA, chose the PFL to continue her transition into MMA. The three-time Muay Thai world champion and undefeated MMA fighter is regarded as one of the sport’s hottest prospects. The Manchester native is the daughter of World Kickboxing champion Lisa Howarth.
🎟️ Tickets for PFL London are off-sale.
🗝️ Doors open at 5pm.
🥋🥊 12-fight line-up for PFL London
Women’s lightweight: Kayla Harrison vs Martina Jindrova
Men’s featherweight: Chris Wade vs Brendan Loughnane
Women’s lightweight: Larisa Pacheco vs Olena Kolesnyk
Men’s featherweight: Ryoji Kudo vs Bubba Jenkins
Dakota Ditcheva vs Hassna Gaber
Louie Sutherland vs Abraham Bably
Tayo Odunjo vs Magnus Onyeka
Ali Taleb vs Kenji Bortoluzzi
Simeon Powell vs Nemanja Uveric
Stuart Austin vs Sofiane Boukichou
Marcin Held vs Myles Price
Aleksandrs Chizovs vs TBA
🚊🚗 Travel tips: Public transport is recommended. The nearest railway stations are Hackney Wick overground and Stratford International station (latter accessible from London St Pancras) both approximately a 10-minute walk. Stratford (with links to the underground and DLR) station is about a 15-minute walk. Plan your journey at the Transport for London website. Limited parking is available at the Copper Box Arena, however parking is available at the nearby Westfield Shopping Centre.