Kayla Harrison (T) (PFL)

PFL 2022: Previewing the Women’s Lightweight Field

The Professional Fighters League is back for its fourth season.

The show continues on its homes, ESPN+ and ESPN, and aims to give fighters the opportunity to compete for a world championship and a grand prize of $1 million. Here, we preview the season’s women’s lightweight field.

Favorite: Kayla Harrison

I will keep this brief, because not much needs to be said. The women’s lightweight division in PFL exists because of Kayla Harrison. It probably would be gone had she left. Nobody on the roster is anywhere near her level. If she doesn’t win again this year, I would be beyond shocked.


Dark Horse: Marina Mokhnatkina

A few years back, Marina Mokhnatkina was considered a top female prospect in the world. She possessed – and still does – great wrestling skills and the ability to technically grapple on the mat. A couple of disappointing losses later, she kind of fell off the map. However, she’s re-geared to go. She won her last bout with Bellator over veteran Amanda Bell and then came to the PFL, where she bested Claudia Zamora. She is definitely a dark horse on this season if she can fight to her potential. Of course, she gets the toughest matchup right out of the gate in Kayla Harrison, so she may be fighting an uphill battle.

Longshot: Oleyna Kolesnyk

Four losses in a row. That’s what Oleyna Kolesnyk possesses coming into this season of the PFL. That makes her inclusion in this season questionable and makes her the biggest longshot on this season. Granted, those losses came to legit opposition but she’s not won since 2017 and doesn’t really have a win against a noteworthy opponent. We will see her matched up with another longshot in Abigail Montes in her first fight.

Riley’s Preseason Power Rankings
  1. Kayla Harrison (12-0, American Top Team, USA)
  2. Larissa Pacheco (15-4, Formiga Team, Brazil)
  3. Julia Budd (16-3, Gibson MMA, Canada)
  4. Marina Mokhnatkina (6-2, Sambo-Piter, Russia)
  5. Vanessa Melo (11-8, Vila da Luta, Brazil)
  6. Zamzagul Fayzallanova (7-1, Astana Patriot, Kazakhstan)
  7. Genah Fabian (4-2, City Kickboxing, New Zealand)
  8. Martina Jindrova (4-2, American Top Team, Czech Republic)
  9. Abigail Montes (3-0, Lobo Gym, Mexico)
  10. Oleyna Kolesnyk (5-4, Global Fight Gym, Ukraine)