Exclusive: PFL’s Olena Kolesnyk picks Larissa Pacheco to upset Kayla Harrison, unhappy fellow semi-finalist Martina Jindrova is backup fighter

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PFL lightweight Olena Kolesnyk has given her prediction for Friday’s lightweight title fight, as well as expressed frustration with not being selected as the backup fighter for the bout.

Olena Kolesnyk made it to the semi-finals of this year’s PFL lightweight season.


Kolesnyk (7-5-0) picked up decision wins over the highly-touted Abigail Montes and UFC veteran Vanessa Melo en-route to a spot in the semi-final of this year’s PFL 155-pound lightweight season. In the semi-final bout, she would lose to old foe Larissa Pacheco by way of a first-round knockout.

During a recent chat with WMMA Rankings, Kolesnyk said that she believes Pacheco will go on to upset Kayla Harrison and capture the PFL lightweight championship this Friday.

My prediction for the fight, if Larissa Pacheco is in the same condition as in my fight, and the whole year, she has a huge chance to win the belt. It will definitely be interesting to see. Larissa Pacheco, this girl deserves to be a champion this year, she had a much harder way than Kayla Harrison. Kayla had much easier opponents this year in my opinion, with all respect to the other girls. Larissa has all the chance to be the champion of this year.” she said.

The Ukrainian went on to express frustration with the fact that fellow semi-finalist Martina Jindrova was selected as the official back-up fighter for the Harrison vs. Pacheco showdown. Kolesnyk feels as though she had a much harder route to the finals and should have been chosen instead.

I’m really upset that PFL didn’t give me the opportunity to be the alternative. I think I deserve it more than Jindrova because my way through the PFL playoffs was a lot harder than hers, but PFL has this points system or whatever.” she explained during a recent chat with WMMA Rankings.

Kolesnyk is open to a move back down to featherweight.


At Friday’s event, PFL will also be launching their women’s featherweight division when UFC veteran Aspen Ladd takes on former Bellator champ Julia Budd. The organization is widely tipped to host a full 145-pound featherweight season next year. Kolesnyk say that if this indeed turns out to be true, she would gladly move back down to 145-pound, a division she competed in prior to signing with PFL.

As soon as I see my new contract for next year’s PFL season, I will know which weight-class it will be. Nowadays I weigh much less than when I started my fight camp to 155. So if the next season will be at 145, I will be ready for this weight-class. Actually this is the weight-class where I started my pro fighting career, so let’s do it.” she explained.

PFL World Championship takes place on Friday, November 25, 2022, from the Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden in New York City, New York, United States. The main card, headlined by Kayla Harrison vs Larissa Pacheco, will be aired live on pay-per-view from 8 pm ET.

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