Ukraine’s Olena Kolesnyk earns 2nd PFL win, beats Brazil’s Vanessa Melo in Atlanta, Georgia


Olena “Cannon” Kolesnyk, 31, of Odessa, Ukraine is one of the winners at the Professional Fighters League event “PFL 6: 2022 Regular Season“. It was the Ukrainian mixed martial artist’s second win the MMA league founded in 2018.

Featuring nine MMA bouts, “PFL 6: 2022 Regular Season” was held at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, Georgia, USA on July 1, 2022. In the first bout of the evening, Kolesnyk fought Vanessa “Miss Simpatia” Melo, 34, of Sao Paulo, Brazil in the women’s lightweight division.

Kolesnyk is 5’9″ tall while Melo is 5’5″ tall. “PFL 6: 2022 Regular Season” marked the Ukrainian MMA fighter’s fourth PFL fight and it was her Brazilian opponent’s second fight in the league.

Jimmy Neely, Olena Kolesnyk
Jimmy Neely, Olena Kolesnyk

Jimmy Neely served as the referee of the women’s lightweight contest. After three five-minute rounds, he raised the hand of Kolesnyk, who was declared the winner via unanimous decision.

The victory improved Kolesnyk’s professional MMA record to 7 wins and 4 losses. On the other hand, Melo now has 11 wins and 10 losses.

Melo competed in the Ultimate Fighting Championship from 2019 to 2021. When she made her PFL debut at “PFL 3: Regular Season 2022” on May 6, 2022, she lost via unanimous decision to Martina Jindrova, 31, of Czech Republic.


Including Ukraine, Brazil and the U.S., a total of 12 countries were represented at “PFL 6: 2022 Regular Season”. The others were Canada, Czech Republic, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Mexico, New Zealand, Russia, Senegal and Sweden.

Ukraine was solely represented by Olsenyk. Brazil was represented by Melo and Larissa Pacheco, 27, of Belem, Para, Brazil.


Amid the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine, Olesnyk had to flee her home country and travel from Moldova to Bulgaria to Turkey to Qatar to the U.S. Before this, she had two consecutive PFL losses.

When Olesnyk made her PFL debut at “PFL 3: 2021 Regular Season” on May 6, 2021, she lost via unanimous decision to Taylor “No Mercy” Guardado, 30, Reno, Nevada, USA. On June 25, 2021, Pacheco knocked out Olesnyk a “PFL 6: 2021 Regular Season”.

On May 6, 2022, Olesnyk earned her first PFL win by beating Abigail “Brave” Montes, 22, of Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico via split decision at “PFL 3: 2022 Regular Season”. Before the “PFL 3: 2022 Regular Season” fight night, I asked the Ukrainian MMA fighter how she celebrated her first PFL win and this was her response:

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