Balkan brawler Julija Pajic has nose broken in brutal 51-second loss as fighter’s dream of $1MN MMA prize takes a beating (VIDEO)
Returning after scrapping its plans for 2020, the PFL has come back with explosive action this year – and German-born Montenegrin Pajic, who trains in Croatia, was at the center of it at PFL 3 as she suffered her first defeat.
Powerful Pacheco floored the 23-year-old prospect almost immediately, then pinned her to the floor while raining shots on her head in a display of violence that Pajic had no hope of holding off for the ample remainder of the round.
Bandaged up in hospital, the viral sensation after stopping a man in an inter-gender bout last year revealed that her smile was already back.
"I'm good," Pajic told her thousands of social media followers, holding up a fist. "People can break your nose, but never let them break your smile.
"I was so confident when I stepped in the cage. I was feeling really good until that left hook connected. I dont know why I made that terrible mistake to step in directly.
"I really wanted to show to my team what a good gameplan we had but I did the opposite and, in the cage, there is no mercy for these kind of mistakes.
"I will keep my head up, remember my mistake and work even harder to never make it again. My next performance will be better.
"I've lose my fight but not my hope. My mind is stronger than my bones.
"Thanks for all the support and nice messages that I have had. I will learn and come back stronger. Love you guys."
Pajic predicted a war in New Jersey and she was not left disappointed by Pacheco, the 26-year-old returning for the first time since a decision defeat on New Year's Eve 2019.
Thirteen of the lightweight former Jungle Fight champion's 14 wins have now come by knockout or stoppage, and she made quick work of ending the three-fight unbeaten run with which Pajic had begun her professional career.
Pacheco's defeat in the final fight for the million-dollar prize in 2019 came against Kayla Harrison, the American double Olympic gold medalist who is considered the contender to beat in the current PFL series.
This time around, Harrison hammered hapless opponent Mariana Morais, although she required a little longer than Pacheco needed for her victory.
Clinching Morais against the fence before taking her down, Harrison battered her increasingly defenseless opponent with an armory of punches recorded at around 14mph.
That was enough for the referee to step in after one minute and 23 seconds and, as was the prize for Pacheco on the night, Harrison to earn six points in the lightweight rankings.
The 30-year-old was in suitably confident mood afterwards. "This isn't a tournament – it's a coronation and I'm the queen," she said bullishly, extending her perfect record to nine wins.
"I'm not one to talk a lot of cr*p – it's not really who I am. It seems like everybody from boxers to YouTube idiots thinks that they can get in there, and that's just not the case.
"Luckily for the rest of the world, I believe in equal opportunities. So if anyone thinks they can step to me, they can come and get in the cage. From now on, I'm the baddest woman in this room and in any room."Also on rt.com Balkan MMA bruiser Julija Pajic eyes $1mn prize as she joins PFL lightweight big guns after beating man in exhibition bout (VIDEO)