Starting her professional MMA career in 2013, Taila Santos won 15 fights in a row, including first-round victories in 10 straight performances. Santos, who won regional flyweight gold in Brazil, has competed against noteworthy talent such as Valentina Shevchenko, Roxanne Modafferi, Gillian Robertson, Molly McCann and Joanne Wood. Santos enters this season off losses to Shevchenko and Erin Blanchfield in June 2022 and August 2023, respectively.


Like Santos, Ilara Joanne also made her pro debut in 2013, going 8-4 before signing with Bellator in 2019. Joanne, who trains at the Pitbull Brothers gym, went 3-4 in the promotion, but enters her PFL debut with four losses in her last five. Joanne, who currently has seven finishes, most recently fought at Bellator 300, being submitted by Jena Bishop.


Who will get off on the right foot to begin their 2024 season?



Round 1


A strong combination from Joanne to start things off. Both women throw, and Joanne is showing off her power early. Joanne continues with the aggression, but Santos lands a counterpunch and clinches up before taking Joanne down. Santos tries to get into mount. Santos fires off a few punches before looking for an arm-triangle choke. Santos has to let go of it, however, due to Joanne’s defenses as Santos tries to go over on her. Santos tries for an Americana, but she can’t get it.


Joanne transitions Santos back into the closed guard, but Santos continues to work. Santos brings some nasty ground-and-pound on Joanne. Santos rains down shots, but Joanne threatens with upkicks to get back to the feet. That doesn’t last long, however, as Santos quickly gets the fight back down. Santos only needs one hook in, but she gets the rear-naked choke and the tapout!



A big performance from Santos here in her PFL debut!





Taila Santos defeats Ilara Joanne by 1st round submission (rear-naked choke, 3:57), earning 6 points in the PFL Women’s Flyweight Division.