PFL 2021 Season: Women’s Division Highlight [April 2021]


See who's fighting in the women's division for PFL, including matchups for Claressa Shields and Kayla Harrison! Watch live on Thursday, April 29th on ESPN2 at 9 pm ET!

This is a competitive and thrilling season for women MMA fighters in the Professional Fighters League. The PFL has a roster loaded with tenacious fighters, some returning to PFL for another season and many newly signed to the league.

Returning champion and superior talent Kayla Harrison will be contending to defend her PFL throne as she rises to the top of the MMA world. A two-time Olympic Judo Gold Medalist, Harrison won the 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight World Championship. Her undefeated MMA record pins her as the one to beat, and PFL newcomer Mariana Morais will have the chance to try on Thursday, May 6th. Like Harrison, she’s adept at stoppage, winning 12 of her 16 wins by knockouts and submissions

UFC veteran Cindy Dandois and former basketball player turned undefeated MMA fighter Laura Sanchez have both joined the 2021 PFL roster. Dandois, nicknamed the “Battlecat,” is a feisty Belgian competitor who has fought for UFC, Bellator, Invicta, and Rizin. She entered the PFL on 4-fight winning streak and is scheduled to fight former Invicta title challenger Katilin Young on Thursday, May 6th.

The formidable boxing GOAT Claressa Shields is also kicking off her MMA aspirations this season. As a two-time Olympic Gold Medalist and powerhouse of athletic ability, Shields is looking forward to adding “MMA Champion” to one of her many accolades. Her much anticipated debut showcase bout against Brittney Elkin is scheduled for June 10th, but she will be joining the regular PFL season tournament in 2022.

Elkin lost to Harrison in the 2018 PFL season after tapping out to an armbar submission. She retired from MMA after injuring her arm in a 2019 NMEF Annihilation 65 fight, but is now gearing up for a major comeback in her match with Shields. We will see who will come out on top in June.

Striking expert Genah Fabian, 2019 PFL Women’s Lightweight runner-up Larissa Pacheco, and newcomers Olena Kolesnyk, Julija Pajic, and Taylor Guardado complete the 2021 roster.

The 2021 roster of PFL fighters in the Women’s Lightweight Division:

You can watch these fighters match off on Thursday, May 6th, 2021 and Thursday, June 10th, 2021. Preliminary matches on ESPN+ at 5:30 pm ET (2:30 pm PT) and Main Card matches on ESPN2 at 9 pm ET (6 pm PT).

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by Insider Envy Staff

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