There was an aura of calmness from the fighters at the 2022 PFL World Championship press conference on Wednesday, November 23rd in New York City.
Trash talk was limited, as the championship fighters were beaming with smiles. They will fight for a million-dollar prize on Friday night in Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden.
Headliner and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison remained confident and blunt about her fight. She acknowledged that her opponent Larissa Pacheco “has better striking” and “hits harder.” Pacheco “is the toughest opponent I’ve ever faced and I’m grateful for that because it gives me the opportunity to dig deep and to figure out a way to win again,” Harrison further admitted. In Thanksgiving fashion, she exclaimed that “we have a lot to be grateful for, and I’m grateful for Larissa Pacheco.”
For the heavyweights, Ante Delija vowed to redeem himself after losing in last year’s championship. Through his translator, he said that “last year he was at about 50 to 60 percent of his skills, but this year he is fully prepared and ready to take the belt.”
In another case of bouncing back, Omari Akhmedov ended 2021 with consecutive losses but his stellar 2022 has made him confident in his fight against Robert Wilkinson for the light heavyweight championship. He expressed through his translator: “Specifically, coming into this fight with Robert, I was mostly training with heavier partners because it’s a little bit different weight advantage for [Robert], so whatever precaution I needed in partners and style, I applied this year and think I’m in the best shape right now.”
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Welterweights Dilano Taylor and Sadibou Sy flexed their shoes for the media and reflected on their courageous paths to fighting for the title.
A happy fighter is often the most dangerous fighter. This means fireworks are in store to make the PFL’s first-ever pay-per-view event unforgettable.
Anik Subramanian is an aspiring MMA journalist based in the United States. He discovered his passion for MMA when the sport was the first to return to live action during the pandemic. He is also a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and has been a lifelong sports fan.
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