LARISSA PACHECO fought for FREE early in her career…now she has a second chance to change her life by winning $1M.
The Brazilian is signed to the Professional Fighters League and reached the $1 million winner-take-all finals fight this season.
And Pacheco isn’t just fighting for money, but also for revenge against the woman she’s already hit twice, Kayla Harrison.
It all remains at stake for the 28-year-old lightweight contender, who is in her second final after losing to Harrison, 32, in 2019.
She said: “It’s hard to pinpoint one thing, I think they all make it a great professional and personal achievement for me.
“It’s the belt in a big action that helps me maintain my place in the history books of MMA.
“It’s a win over someone by Kayla Harrison’s statue and it’s $1 million to help me invest in my own career, family and livelihood.”
Pacheco started her MMA career in Brazil in 2012 and fought for little money there.
Now she is just one win away from becoming a millionaire and changing her life.
Pacheco said: “I started fighting for the love of the sport, I’ve been fighting for nothing just to build a record and put myself in a position to progress.
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“I fought for practically nothing, so going from a place where I fought for nothing or practically nothing to a fight for $1 million, that’s all.
“A million dollars is the kind of money that would change anyone’s life, it’s a significant number.
“To see that and to be able to think about whose life I can improve and how my career will develop means everything to me.”
Pacheco is in her third PFL season, MMA’s only league format.
Stars in each weight have two qualifiers, earning points for each type of win.
The top four in each weight then advance to the knockout stage where the cash prize and title belt await.
I fought for practically nothing, so going from a place where I fought for nothing or practically nothing to a fight for $1 million, that’s all.
Two-time Olympic judo champion Harrison is a two-time winner and has reached her third consecutive final.
She beat Pacheco twice for the first time in 2019, including at the Showpiece event, en route to victory.
But three years later, Pacheco has vowed to make three lucky charms by upsetting reigning and undefeated champion Harrison.
She said: “Last year I had the hiccups, the mission remained unfinished, I came here this year to close the deal.
“I think the trilogy fight with Kayla makes it a lot more special, I get the chance to do as many things as I want.
“It’s the championship, it’s the belt, it’s the money, a chance to get back someone who’s already passed me twice.
“I can say with certainty that I know how her game works, she beat me twice and I have a hard time believing that she would change her game plan for the third fight.
“I think it’s a map up my sleeve to knowing what to expect.”
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/6552449/mma-larissa-pacheco-free-career-pfl/ MMA star Larissa Pacheco fought FREE early in her career… now she’s getting the second crack at PFL’s $1M prize pool