Kayla Harrison Endorses Open Scoring After Stunning PFL Loss

Kayla Harrison feels open scoring might’ve changed things with her loss to Larissa Pacheco at the 2022 PFL Championships.

Harrison suffered the first setback of her MMA career to Pacheco at PFL 10 this past weekend. She lost via unanimous decision in a five-round war with her now three-time adversary.

The loss shook up the MMA world after Harrison was a significant betting favorite entering the fight. She defeated Pacheco twice during their careers, including at the 2019 PFL Championships.

Most fans and pundits had it two rounds apiece heading to the fifth and final round between Harrison and Pacheco. As the fight went on, Pacheco was able to deal significant damage off of her back with ground strikes, leading to the stunning upset.

While some scored the fight in favor of Harrison, few felt the official decision was a robbery or significantly controversial. As Harrison reflects on her performance, she feels knowing where she stood on the scorecards entering the fifth might’ve changed the outcome.

Kayla Harrison Feels Open Scoring Might’ve Changed Result At PFL Championships

Kayla Harrison
Photo via Instagram @judokayla

During her post-fight media scrum, Harrison spoke about whether or not open scoring would make a positive impact on fights.

“I think that it favors fighters,” Harrison said. “Fans don’t like it necessarily, maybe it makes it more boring or whatever, but I think that open scoring favors fighters and it’s always good to know, right?”

UFC flyweight Erin Blanchfield, a one-time participant in an open-scoring fight, feels the concept wouldn’t impact the entertainment value of the competition. Critics such as Al Iaquinta opine that fighters don’t need to know where they stand on the scorecards when they have the fight IQ advantage.

Harrison is the latest big name in MMA to discuss judging and open scoring. Judging has become a hot topic in recent years after a series of controversial decisions, including Petr Yan vs. Sean O’Malley at UFC 280.

Harrison is taking her first loss as a learning experience without any excuses, while the idea of open scoring will continue to be discussed for some time.

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