Kayla Harrison Larissa PAcheco
Kayla Harrison and Larissa Pacheco are two of the PFL's biggest stars today. PFL Photo


  • PFL recently ended its 2022 season
  • The 2022 PFL World Championship card was widely successful
  • PFL could emerge as a potential threat to the UFC's dominance in the MMA world

Over the last couple of years, Professional Fighters League (PFL) has claimed to be one of the top mixed martial arts (MMA) promotions in the world.

The Washington, D.C.-based organization has even gone as far as saying that they are the No. 2 outfit in the sport behind the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

For a company that has been around for less than five years, that's a pretty bold claim to make, and it's easy to brush it off as just something to say for a so-called PR strategy.

After what the league was able to do this season, and especially during the finale, it's pretty fair to say that they could have a pretty good argument with regard to the claims that they've been making.

PFL wrapped up its 2022 season with its culminating world championship event, which featured the customary six championship bouts and some highly-anticipated debuts.

Moreover, the fight card was arguably the most exciting and drama-filled card of the entire season as it featured a ton of highlight reel-worthy finishes and the main event upset that is still being discussed even days after.

In addition, the affair saw the successful PFL debuts of Biaggio Ali Walsh and Aspen Ladd, as well as the success stories of competitors like Brendan Loughnane, Olivier Aubin-Mercier and Sadibou Sy.

However, the one that stole the show was Larissa Pacheco's historic victory over the previously-undefeated Kayla Harrison.

It was a card that was good enough to, well, compete with some of the UFC's best live events.

Brendan Lougnane
Brendan Loughnane defeated Bubba Jenkins by TKO to become the 2022 PFL featherweight champion PFL Photo

It was a successful card, largely because a lot of the fighters on it were competing for a life-changing opportunity.

Apart from the bragging rights of being called a PFL world champion, the winners of those six title bouts also each got to take home a million-dollar payday.

In most cases, the prestige of a world championship is enough to motivate a combatant to lay it all on the line, but introducing a big-money payday definitely pushes these athletes to compete at their absolute best.

Entertaining cards like these are what usually entice audiences to a certain promotion, and it wouldn't be a stretch to say that PFL's 2022 season-ender likely drew in a lot of viewers and even opened some new eyes to the league and what they're all about.

It's this kind of growth that helps propel an organization to the top of the industry, and in just a short amount of time, it's fair to say that PFL has grown exponentially.

The development and impact that PFL has been able to make year in and year out have also been one of the biggest reasons why the league has been able to attract big-name free agents such as Anthony Pettis, Rory MacDonald, Kayla Harrison and Shane Burgos, just to name a few.

But perhaps the biggest reason that fighters go towards the PFL is the tournament format, which pushes them to excel and win so that they can advance further into the season.

At the top of the mountain, of course, awaits the PFL championship and a life-changing million-dollar purse.

With fans and fighters alike taking notice, PFL is indeed becoming a promotion that the UFC can call competition.

After all, PFL was able to lure away a top-ranked featherweight like Burgos, who spurned the UFC for a contract with the Donn Davis-founded MMA company.

Once fighters begin looking elsewhere and discover that maybe there's a bigger prize outside the Octagon, it could become a problem for the world's premier MMA promotion.

Will PFL ever surpass the UFC? Maybe, maybe not.

The good thing is PFL isn't concerned about being No 1.

But the good takeaway here is that PFL is concerned about growing its business and the sport of MMA, and that reason alone is enough for the ardent followers of the sport.