The Professional Fighters League (PFL) lit up the 2023 PFL Playoffs with a riveting evening of live bouts from The Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Four standout Playoff fights across the Heavyweight and Women’s Featherweight divisions took center stage.
Renan Ferreira sealed his place in the $1 million PFL World Championship by delivering a first-round knockout to Maurice Greene. Commanding the fight from start to finish, Ferreira has now set his sights on Denis Goltsov and the PFL World Heavyweight Championship.
In a spectacular co-main event, Larissa Pacheco took only 14 seconds, a record for PFL Women, to overpower Olena Kolesnyk. The victory by TKO sends Pacheco to the $1 million PFL World Championship, where she will strive to become the inaugural two-division women’s champion against Marina Mokhnatkina.
Denis Goltsov also secured his spot in the 2023 PFL World Championship, exhibiting a dominant first-round submission win over Jordan Heiderman. With a formidable record of 32-7, Goltsov is heading to the PFL World Championship for the first time in his career.
2023 began the Women’s Featherweight division Playoff action with a groundbreaking performance by Marina Mokhnatkina. Mokhnatkina achieved the quickest submission in PFL women’s history by taking down Amber Leibrock with an armbar just 1:45 into the first round. This victory positions Mokhnatkina one step closer to the PFL World Championship.
PFL CEO Peter Murray expressed enthusiasm for the night’s results, stating, “Tonight four remarkable fighters continued their million-dollar PFL Championship dreams. We eagerly await our last PFL Playoff event this Wednesday, August 23, defining the remaining matchups in the 2023 PFL World Championship.”
Echoing these sentiments, PFL President of Fighter Operations, Ray Sefo, lauded the evening’s excitement: “Tonight the PFL once again delivered unmissable action to fans globally. Congratulations to the four athletes who punched their tickets to the 2023 PFL World Championship.”
In the primary card’s opener on ESPN, Nathan Kelly put on a masterclass, defeating Damion Nelson by unanimous decision for his eighth consecutive victory.
A Heavyweight Showcase bout saw Danilo Marques use his length and striking ability to hold Satoshi Isii at a distance, securing a unanimous decision win and his 15th career victory.
Maira Mazar began the card on ESPN+ by narrowly defeating Kaytlin “Katniss” Neil via split decision, improving her career record to 9-6.
The PFL excitement will resume from The Theater at Madison Square Garden for the final playoff event on Wednesday, August 23. Eight fierce competitors across the Welterweight and Lightweight divisions will step into the PFL SmartCage, each aiming for a chance at the 2023 PFL World Championship.
Global fans can tune into all 2023 PFL Playoff events live on ESPN, ESPN2/ESPN+ and ESPN3 (Spanish), and other top international platforms broadcasting across 160 countries.
- Renan Ferreira beats Maurice Greene, 1st Round (punches, 4:46)
- Larissa Pacheco beats Olena Kolesynk, 1st Round TKO (punches, 0:14)
- Denis Goltsov beats Jordan Heiderman, 1st Round Submission (arm-triangle choke, 4:16)
- Marina Mokhnatkina beats Amber Leibrock, 1st Round Submission (armbar, 1:45)
- Nathan Kelly beats Damion Nelson, Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)
- Danilo Marques beats Satoshi Isii, Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
- Maira Mazar beats Kaytlin Neil, Split Decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)