PFL 3: Marina Mokhnatkina Proves Game, but Kayla Harrison’s Win Never in Doubt

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Marina Mokhnatkina and Kayla Harrison, PFL 3Marina Mokhnatkina and Kayla Harrison, PFL 3 astatine the Esports Stadium Arlington successful Arlington, Texas, Friday, May 6, 2022. (Cooper Neill / PFL)

Come the PFL 3 main lawsuit successful Arlington, Texas connected Friday night, it was Kayla Harrison time.

The two-time defending PFL champ was kicking disconnected her 2022 run successful the women’s lightweight part against Marina Mokhnatkina, a Sambo specialist. Harrison’s Judo, Makhnatkina’s Sambo — which would beryllium superior? A semi-legit question, but Harrison was a large favorite, aft perfectly clobbering the bulk of her archetypal 12 opponents successful MMA.

The main lawsuit duo ate astir a afloat infinitesimal of timepiece circling and feeling each different retired astatine PFL 3, earlier Harrison closed the region and landed her archetypal takedown of the evening. Mokhnatkina would onslaught an limb disconnected her back, and yet scramble backmost up, eating a genu to the assemblage for her troubles. With a assemblage fastener successful place, Harrison looked to get the combat backmost down, but the Russian managed to support things standing, utilizing the obstruction and immoderate coagulated balance. Harrison, however, was successful control, but Mokhnatkina would rotation into a kneebar attempt. Only problem, erstwhile it wasn’t there, she had Harrison connected apical of her.

From there, Harrison moved to the back, getting some hooks in. With a infinitesimal near successful the opening round, Harrison looked to flatten her hostile out, but was excessively precocious up connected the back. Mokhnatkina scrambled backmost up, and the remainder of the circular played retired connected the feet.

About a infinitesimal into the second, Kayla Harrison had landed different takedown. But again, a precise crippled Mokhnatkina was backmost to her feet quickly. The boost successful morale from escaping the archetypal circular against Harrison surely didn’t hurt, arsenic it was a feat fewer of Kayla’s opponents had managed. The occupation was, Mokhnatkina had shown small to nary offence successful the opening round. Again successful the second, she’d look to rotation into a kneebar attempt. This time, Harrison squirmed free, past fired a dense close manus earlier settling successful connected top. Mokhnatkina employed a butterfly guard, and trapped Harrison’s arms with overhooks. Harrison backed off, fired different large close hand, and stepped implicit into half-guard, past broadside control.

Harrison went hunting for an arm-bar, and Mokhnatkina past gave up her back. Harrison got 1 hook in, sitting upright with her backmost to the fence. With clip moving out, however, she couldn’t get nether the chin. And Mokhnatkina would flight retired conscionable earlier the horn.

In circular three, Harrison changed levels, ducking nether arsenic Mokhnatkina moved in. While the archetypal takedown effort was fought off, Harrison took power of the back. Mokhnatkina fought the wrists, but Harrison freed her near hand, dropping respective punches. Still, the Russian combatant survived and got backmost to her feet.

Marina Mokhnatkina was resilient, crafty, and intelligibly not intimated by Olympic golden medalist Kayla Harrison connected Friday. But her biggest triumph was successful surviving 3 rounds with the returning champion. And that simply wasn’t capable to triumph the fight.

Official Result: Kayla Harrison def. Marina Mokhnatkina by unanimous determination (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)