Kayla Harrison, Derek Brunson, Impa Kasanganay, And OAM Win Big: 2023 PFL World Championship Results (Highlights)

Harrison bounced back with a big win over Aspen Ladd while Derek Brunson delivered a dominant performance against former PFL champion Ray Cooper III

2023 PFL Kayla Harrison
2023 PFL Kayla Harrison Courtesy of @PFLMMA on X

The 2023 PFL Championships saw the return of women’s MMA sensation Kayla Harrison one year removed from her shocking upset at the hands of Larissa Pacheco. Also on tap were six world championship bouts and the Smart Cage debut of former UFC title contender Derek Brunson.

Highly touted MMA prospect Biaggio Ali Walsh added another impressive victory at the PFL’s final event of 2023, scoring a second-round highlight-reel-worthy knockout over the previously undefeated standout Joel Galarza Lopez.

Ali Walsh put his striking skills on display early, picking apart his opponent throughout the opening five minutes. In round two, the fight-ending sequence was kicked off by a big left hand delivered by Ali Walsh. With Lopez on the ropes, Ali-Wash went to work and ultimately finished his opponent with a looping right hook followed by a left that sent Lopez crashing to the canvas.  

Official Result: Biaggio Ali Walsh def. Joel Lopez vs. KO (strikes) at 1:24 of Round 2. 

Kicking off the main card, former UFC standout Derek Brunson made his PFL debut in a middleweight showcase bout against two-time PFL welterweight champion Ray Cooper III.

In the opening round, Cooper had Brunson on the ropes, but it was short-lived as Brunson managed to wrestle Cooper to the canvas and ride out the first five minutes in top control. That trend continued in the second and third rounds with Brunson using his size advantage to grind out a decisive unanimous decision.

Official Result: Derek Brunson def. Ray Cooper III via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-25).

Kayla Harrison Returns to the Win Column

Up next was PFL darling Kayla Harrison, entering the Smart Cage for the first time in a year. After coming up short against Larissa Pacheco in the 2022 PFL women’s lightweight championship tournament final, Harrison looked better than ever, taking down her opponent, former UFC standout Aspen Ladd, with authority less than a minute into the opening round. 

Harrison showed significant improvement in her striking skills, but it was ultimately her ability to take down and control Ladd in each of the three rounds that led to her return to the win column on Friday night. 

Official Result: Kayla Harrison def. Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27).

In the first PFL Championship final of the main card, Impa Kasanganay delivered a dominant performance against Josh Silveira through five rounds. Kasanganay’s cardio was on display as he wore down Silveira en route to claiming the light heavyweight title and a $1,000,000 prize. 

Official Result: Impa Kasanganay def. Josh Silveira via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) to win the light heavyweight championship

Magomed Magomedkerimov was the next PFL champion crowned, capturing the welterweight title with a slick third-round submission of Sadibou Sy via rear-naked choke.

Official Result: Magomed Magomedkerimov def. Sadibou Sy via submission (rear-naked choke) at 3:00 of Round 3 to win the welterweight championship.

In the women’s featherweight tournament final, Larissa Pacheco delivered yet another dominant performance against Russian standout Martina Mokhnatkina to claim her second-straight PFL championship title.

To her credit, Mokhnatkina gave Pacheco all she could handle and narrowly secured a knee bar submission in the early stages of the contest, but in the end, it was Pacheco who would see her hand raised by way of a unanimous decision. 

Official Result: Larissa Pacheco def. Martina Mokhnatkina via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to win the featherweight championship

It didn’t take long for Renan Ferreira to take care of business in the co-main event, scoring a vicious TKO against Denis Golstov to claim the heavyweight championship.

The finish came in the opening seconds of the second round when a failed takedown attempt from Gostov resulted in the Russian eating three straight overhand lefts, the final one dropping him. Smelling blood in the water, Ferreira swarmed his opponent and dropped a series of hammer fists that forced the referee to step and call for the stoppage.

Official Result: Renan Ferreira def. Denis Golstov via TKO (strikes) at 0:30 of Round 2 to win the heavyweight championship.

OAM Scores Back-to-Back Titles in What Could Be His Final Appearance

In the main event of the evening, Olivier Aubin-Mercier delivered another stellar performance, winning his second-straight PFL championship and extending his streak to 10-in-a-row under the PFL banner. 

Official Result: Olivier Aubin-Mercier def. Clay Collard via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) to win the lightweight championship.


Full Results from the 2023 PFL Championships

  • Olivier Aubin-Mercier defeats Clay Collard via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46) – Lightweight final
  • Renan Ferreira defeats Denis Goltsov via TKO (punches) Round 2 0:26 – Heavyweight final
  • Larissa Pacheco defeats Marina Mokhnatkina via unanimous decision (49-46, 49-46, 49-46)– Women’s Featherweight final
  • Magomed Magomedkerimov defeats Sadibou Sy via submission (guillotine choke), Round 3, 1:17 – Welterweight final
  • Impa Kasanganay defeats Josh Silveira via unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 50-45) – Light Heavyweight final
  • Kayla Harrison defeats Aspen Ladd via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
  • Derek Brunson defeats Ray Cooper III by unanimous decision (30-27, 30-25, 30-25)


  • Jesus Pinedo defeats Gabriel Braga via TKO Round 3 0:58 – Featherweight final
  • Biaggio Ali Walsh defeats Joel Lopez via knockout in Round 2, 1:24
  • Phil Caracappa defeats Khai Wu via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28)
  • Jesse Stirn defeats Josh Blyden via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)



Published on November 25, 2023 at 1:11 am
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