NEW YORK, NEW YORK – November 24, 2023 – The Professional Fighters League (PFL) wrapped up its 2023 season with the World Championship, featuring fighters across six weight classes vying for a PFL World Championship and a $1 million purse. In the highly anticipated main event, Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeated Clay Collard via unanimous decision to secure the PFL Lightweight Championship. The victory gave Aubin-Mercier his second consecutive PFL World Championship, a $1 million prize and his tenth career PFL victory.
In the co-main event of the evening, Renan Ferreira and Denis Goltsov squared off for the PFL Heavyweight Championship. Ferreira TKO’d Goltsov just 26 seconds into the second round and secured his third straight knockout victory and his first PFL World Championship.
The PFL Women’s Featherweight Championship bout between Larissa Pacheco and Marina Mokhnatkina ended with Pacheco becoming the first two-division champion in PFL history. Mokhnatkina went the five-round distance with Pacheco, but Pacheo proved too much and earned a unanimous decision. The win was Pacheco’s 10th consecutive as she collected another PFL title, her second million dollar check and cemented herself as one of the best in all of women’s combat sports.
“The Professional Fighters League continues to provide the best action in MMA to our fans around the world,” said PFL CEO Peter Murray. “The 2023 PFL World Championship saw PFL athletes put it all on the line for championship glory and six $1 million dollar prizes. Tonight was a fitting culmination to a wonderful season and to the greatest fans in the world, I assure you we are just getting started.”
“Tonight the PFL crowned six world champions at the 2023 PFL World Championship,” said Ray Sefo, President of Fighter Operations of PFL. “MMA fans saw world class action, incredible heart and determination from our athletes, amazing returns, PFL debuts and career making moments.”
Sadibou Sy and Magomed Magomedkerimov, both former PFL Champions, collided for the 2023 PFL Welterweight title. Magomedkerimov defeated Sy by 3rd round submission to win the 2023 PFL Welterweight Championship. In victory, Magomedkerimov earned his 15th PFL win, the most victories in PFL history.
The second PFL Championship bout of the night featured Light Heavyweight finalists Joshua Silveira and Impa Kasanganay. Kasanganay earned a unanimous decision and became the first fighter in PFL history to earn a contract in the PFL Challenger Series and then go on to become a PFL World Champion. Only one year ago Kasanganay was sleeping in his car while pursuing his MMA dream, tonight he left the PFL SmartCage a champion and millionaire.
Two-time PFL Champion and two-time Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison made her long awaited return to the PFL SmartCage in a Catchweight Showcase bout against Aspen Ladd. Harrison returned to dominance via unanimous decision victory and earned her 16th professional win.
Kicking off action on the ESPN+ PPV card, two-time PFL World Champion Ray Cooper III and MMA veteran Derek Brunson took to the PFL SmartCage in a Catchweight Showcase bout. Brunson emerged victorious over Cooper III via unanimous decision in his PFL debut. Brunson’s professional record now stands at 24-9.
Closing out the ESPN+ card, Jesus Pinedo completed his spectacular run to the PFL Featherweight Championship. Pinedo became the first ever MMA champion from Peru after defeating Gabriel Braga via TKO in the third round to become the 2023 PFL Featherweight Champion and earn the evening’s first million-dollar prize.
Biaggio Ali Walsh, the grandson of boxing legend Muhammad Ali, won his sixth consecutive fight via knockout. Ali Walsh stopped Joel Lopez in the second round in an Amateur Lightweight Showcase bout.
In a Bantamweight Showcase bout, Phil Caracappa spoiled the debut of Khai Wu, winning by unanimous decision.
Kicking off the PFL Showcase bouts on ESPN+, Jesse Stirn defeated Josh Blyden in a Featherweight contest by unanimous decision. The victory was the fifth consecutive for Stirn.
ESPN PPV Card
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Clay Collard by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Renan Ferreira def. Denis Goltsov by 2nd round TKO (0:26)
Larissa Pacheco def. Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Sadibou Sy by 3rd round submission (1:17)
Impa Kasanganay def. Josh Silveria by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45)
Kayla Harrison def. Aspen Ladd by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
Derek Brunson def. Ray Cooper III by unanimous decision (30-25, 30-27, 30-25)
Jesus Pinedo def. Gabriel Braga by 3rd round TKO (0:58)
Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Joel Lopez by 2nd round KO (1:24)
Phil Caracappa def. Khai Wu by Unanimous Decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
Jesse Stirn def. Josh Bylden by Unanimous Decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
2023 PFL World Championship VIDEO Highlights
Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Clay Collard
Renan Ferreira def. Denis Goltsov
Larissa Pacheco def. Marina Mokhnatkina
Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Sadibou Sy
Impa Kasanganay def. Josh Silveira
Kayla Harrison def. Aspen Ladd
Derek Brunson def. Ray Cooper III
Jesus Pinedo def. Gabriel Braga
Biaggio Ali-Walsh def. Joel Lopez
Phil Caracappa def. Khai Wu
Jesse Stirn def. Josh Blyden