Kayla Harrison’s Armbar, Antonio Carlos Júnior’s RNC Earn $1-Million Each “When All Else Fails: Grapple.”

2021 PFL Championship Full Results

American Top Team is making headlines again as Kayla Harrison took home her 2nd PFL championship, and with it, the $1million PFL Championship grand prize.

Harrison, a 2-time Olympic gold medalist for the USA Judo team, dominated her opponent for a round and a half before securing the victory. In round 1, she was quick to clinch and complete an inside trip takedown, landing in the guard of Taylor Guardado. From there she went right to the ground and pound, working body-head before passing into half-mount, and then knee-slicing into side control.

The ground and pound opened up a kimura attempt that Guardado was able to defend against and recover a half guard. As Harrison continued to strike away, Guardado turned away and gave up her back. From here, Harrison relentlessly transitioned between strikes and submission attempts, not giving her opponent any chance to relieve the pressure. Harrison only had one hook in and Guardado was able to get her back to the mat, forcing Harrison to come back on top into half mount before Guardado recovered to closed guard. Harrison opened the guard by using heavy strikes before whiffing on a big punch that allowed Guardado to come back to her feet.

As expected, Harrison closed the distance again and quickly used a Harai Goshi hip throw to bring it to the ground again, landing in scarf hold where the fight remained for the rest of the round.

In round 2, both fighters kept the fight standing for the first 45-seconds before Harrison initiated another clinch against the cage. From here she used a Kouchi Gari inside trip to bring it back to the ground and continue the ground and pound from inside Guardado’s closed guard, soon passing to half mount, and then mount. At this point, Guardado was in pure defensive mode and the fight was nearly stopped as she went belly down and was on the receiving end of some brutal ground and pound. Harrison transitioned between dominant positions before settling into mount and slapping on a 1-million dollar armbar.

“I realize that nothing in this world is given, you have to earn it all… She came out swinging… Really great game plan. Caught me off guard. But when all else fails, grapple.”

Harrison now boasts an undefeated MMA record of 12-0 with 5 knockouts and 5 submissions and a decorated Judo record of 45-7.

(Side note: Man, I love those ref cams.)

After being cut from the UFC earlier this year, Antonio Carlos Jr. won the Light Heavyweight Final to land himself a $1million check via RNC in the 1st round of his fight against Marthin Hamlet.

Their fight remained grapple-less for the first 4-minutes before Carlos Júnior landed a right hand and immediately shot for a power double leg takedown. He quickly jumped on the back of Hamlet and got both hooks in. Hamlet responded by standing up, and Carlos Júnior locked in a body triangle. It was only seconds later that he secured an RNC and the 1-million dollars. The fight ended at 4:49 into the 1st round. He now holds an MMA record of 13-5.


Kayla Harrison def. Taylor Guardado via Submission(armbar) – Women’s Lightweight Final

Ray Cooper III def. Magomed Magomedkerimov via KO (punches) – Welterweight Final

Abigail Montes def. Claressa Shields via Split Decision

Bruno Cappelozza def. Ante Delija via Unanimous Decision – Heavyweight Final

Movlid Khaybulaev def. Chris Wade via Unanimous Decision – Featherweight Final


Antonio Carlos Junior def. Marthin Hamlet via Submission(RNC) – Light Heavyweight Final

Raush Manfio def. Loik Radzhabov via Unanimous Decision – Lightweight final

Jordan Young def. Omari Akhmedov via TKO

Julia Budd def. Kaitlin Young via Unanimous Decision

Don Madge def. Nathan Williams via Submission(RNC)


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