Competing in PFL 2, Larissa Pacheco secures victory over former Bellator champion Julia Budd, following a contentious points decision

In PFL’s first appearance of 2023, Larissa Pacheco, the 2022 lightweight champ, defeated Julia Budd, the former Bellator featherweight titleholder, via scores of 30-27, 29-28, and 30-27. This win put another champion on Pacheco’s list of victories.

The event took place at featherweight and saw Pacheco take the No. 3 spot in the point standings behind Marina Mokhnatkina and Amber Leibrock, who picked up earlier finishes on the preliminary card of Friday’s show at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas.

While Budd’s work improved in the second and third rounds, tagging Pacheco with a right hand early in the second, and matching the Brazilian’s punches late in the fight, it was Pacheco’s superior ground game that made an impression on the judges.

Budd was hoping to earn points with takedowns, but instead, Pacheco reversed her positions several times, including the last moments of the fight, where a flurry of ground and pound earned Pacheco the win.

Even though Pacheco’s smaller stature made it difficult for her, she was able to utilize her superior grappling skills to threaten submissions in the first and third rounds, getting close with an armbar after escaping Budd’s back control. The victory is her first since upsetting two-time PFL champ Kayla Harrison, and it has made her the woman to watch in 2023.

The heavyweight division was also in action, where Bruno Cappelozza took the lead in the point standings with a win over Matheus Scheffel. In season 4, Scheffel defeated Cappelozza, but it was Cappelozza who emerged victorious in season 5.

In just 2:15, Cappelozza knocked out Scheffel with a right hand, avenging his previous loss and earning six points. Following a unanimous decision loss to Scheffel, Cappelozza was hungry for the win and showed his dominance in this fight.

In another upset, Olena Kolesnyk defeated Aspen Ladd via a majority decision, winning 29-28 on two scorecards and drawing 28-28 on the other. Kolesnyk was generally more effective on her feet, where most of the action took place, although she did put Ladd on the mat with a hip toss


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