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Preview: PFL 4 2024

Moldavsky vs. Vassell


The Professional Fighters League’s 2024 regular season resumes Thursday with PFL 4, which features heavyweights and women’s flyweights at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Only eight weeks have passed since these competitors were in the cage, but the fight for $1 million must continue.

Familiar foes Valentin Moldavsky and Linton Vassell battle again in the main event. With each fighter holding a win over the other, their rubber match could be the most unpredictable heavyweight showdown of the season. Meanwhile, undefeated flyweight Dakota Ditcheva returns to the cage and looks for her seventh straight finish against Chelsea Hackett. Further down the main draw, heavy hitter Denis Goltsov welcomes former Ultimate Fighting Championship title contender Thiago Santos into the PFL fray, and reigning Bellator MMA flyweight champion Liz Carmouche rematches Kana Watanabe.

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With only four playoff spots up for grabs in each weight class, every fight carries high stakes. Prelims begin at 5:30 p.m. ET, with the main card slated for 9 p.m. ET on ESPN/ESPN+. Now to the PFL 4 preview:

Heavyweights

Valentin Moldavsky (13-3, 1-0 PFL) vs. Linton Vassell (23-9, 0-1 PFL)

Moldavsky looked brilliant in his PFL debut in April. Matched against former tournament winner Ante Delija, Moldavsky dispatched the former titlist in one round. Delija started the fight off aggressively, but it was Moldavsky who elevated the violence after catching his man with a brutal overhand right. With Delija stunned, the Russian sambo champion landed a flush knee before closing the night with a flurry of punches. The quick win gave Moldavsky six points and sole possession of the top spot in the standings. Vassell’s PFL debut did not go as well. After a strong opening round, the Kill Cliff Fight Club product quickly faded against Denis Goltsov. Vassell slammed Goltsov in the first round, but his strength and speed disappeared in the second. Goltsov took advantage—and Vassell’s back—before finally ending the fight with ground-and-pound in the third round. At 41 years old, Vassell’s durability and stamina will again be tested against Moldavsky. The two fighters know each other well from their days in Bellator, and the rubber match could finally settle the score. Moldavsky grinded out a unanimous decision over the Englishman in 2019, but Vassell evened the series with a first-round knockout four years later. If Vassell hopes to pull off the upset again, he must do it fast. Moldavsky has won two straight since losing to Vassell in 2023, but he remains prone to slow starts. If Vassell presses him early, he could build a lead and carry the fight. With that said, the last time Vassell wasted his energy, the result didn’t go as planned. Moldavsky would be wise to take Vassell into the later rounds and pile up the pressure then. Look for Moldavsky to play it safe early and press for a finish in the second round.

Jump To »
Moldavsky vs. Vassell
Ditcheva vs. Hackett
Goltsov vs. Santos
Carmouche vs. Watanabe
The Prelims

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