Belgium’s Patrick Habirora had a strong showing on the amateur scene, going 21-6 while claiming a gold medal at the 2023 IMMAF World Championships and a silver medal at the 2020 IBJJF European Championships. Habirora made his pro debut in January, scoring a first-round TKO of Ognjen Zivanovic.


Claudio Pacella of Italy has won three of his first four fights as a pro, with all three wins coming by way of KO. Pacella most recently fought in June, knocking out Aleksandar Yankov to win a regional championship before signing with PFL Europe. With both men looking to impress in this lightweight showcase, who will be the one to claim victory?



Round 1

Pacella misses a right hook. A couple of strong one-twos from Habirora. Pacella seems wobbled a bit, and Habirora continues his attack. Habirora lands a jab from distance. Pacella launches a counter attack, and he lands an overhand. Pacella lands a combination ending in a low kick. Habirora level changes and presses Pacella against the fence. Pacella lands a knee to the body in Thai clinch before the two separate. Overhand by Pacella. Habirora makes Pacella eat punches, and Pacella fires back!



Pacella now is the one pressing Habirora against the fence. Pacella landed a couple of more knees to the body. Combination from Pacella as the two break off. Low kick from Habirora, and Pacella answers with a hook. Pacella presses Habirora against the SmartCage again. Pacella continuing with his knees. Habirora tries for a small flurry after breaking free. Hard boy kick by Habirora. Habirora lands a Muay Thai knee, and that has Pacella backing up. Habirora continues to pressure, but Pacella clinches back up and puts Habirora’s back to the SmartCage again, landing a couple of more knees before the bell.



Round 2

Habirora on the outside to start. The two fire off an exchange, with Habirora doing the best damage with a counter punch. Habirora scores a takedown, and Pacella throws up his guard. Habirora brings shoulder pressure, looking for an arm-triangle. Pacella looks to get onto a hip and crawl toward the fence. Pacella gets to the fence, but Habirora brings the pressure and gets to Pacella’s back. Habirora looks for Pacella’s neck, but Pacella gets back to his feet. Unfortunately for him, Habirora brings the fight back to the ground.


Habirora maintaining pressure from the top, controlling Pacella’s wrist. Pacella gets back to his feet, and he gets Habirora’s back to the fence. Pacella tries to get something going, mixing strikes and knees. With about a minute left in the round, the referee separates them. Pacella coming on the front foot. Habirora landing a couple of strong right hands, and Pacella appears to have been hurt by them. Habirora level changes and gets Pacella’s back to the fence. Pacella throws a couple of knees before the bell.



Round 3

Habirora starts the round with a couple of right hands. Pacella swings away with a flurry. Low kick by Pacella. Habirora level changes and scores a takedown. Pacella gets back up, but Habirora chases for his back. Habirora pressures Pacella against the fence, but Pacella reverses the position. Pacella trying to work on the inside. Habirora trying to fight for a Thai clinch, but he’s looking a bit drained.


Habirora reverses the position and gets Pacella’s back to the fence, but Pacella appears to be in control of the grappling battle. Habirora looks for a trip, but he can’t get it. Pacella lands a knee, but it lands low, and Habirora goes down in pain. A time out is called for Habirora to recover from the low blow. He recovers and the fight resumes with two minutes left. Habirora backs Pacella up with an overhand. Pacella comes forward. Pacella shoots in, but Habirora clinches him up and controls the attack. Pacella presses Habirora’s back to the fence. Pacella lands knees and low kicks in the clinch. Habirora, however, trips Pacella up and briefly gets another takedown. Habirora lands a knee as Pacella gets to his feet. Pacella presses Habirora to the SmartCage again, once more trying to land on the inside. Habirora with a knee and a right hand off the break before the horn sounds.


Ultimately, the judges give the fight to Habirora!





Patrick Habirora defeats Claudio Pacella by unanimous decision (30-27x2, 29-28) in a Lightweight Showcase bout.