FB TW IG YT VK TH
Search
MORE FROM OUR CHANNELS

Wrestlezone
FB TW IG YT VK TH

2024 PFL 4 Regular Season Play-by-Play, Results & Round Scoring

The Professional Fighters League’s regular season marches on with 2024 PFL 4 Regular Season at 5:30 p.m. ET.

Sumiko Inaba (125) vs. Saray Orozco (125.5)

Round 1

The second half of the 2024 PFL regular season begins tonight, as heavyweights and women’s flyweights qualify for the playoffs with triumphant performances. While all of the initially booked bouts at 125 pounds remained intact, the heavyweight landscape has shifted a great deal since PFL 1 in April. As a result, the big-man bracket is still wide open, and the six points from a first-round finish will carry far. The first bout of the evening is not part of any tournament, and instead serves as an alternate match should the final four need some replacement options. It comes between former Bellator staple Inaba (6-1, 0-0 PFL) and Lux FC product Orozco (8-5, 0-0 PFL), with both ladies making their company debuts. Drawing the initial assignment for the first PFL show in the Bellator hub of the Mohegan Sun Arena will be referee Todd Anderson. Inaba is ready to get right to business, and there is no sign of a glove touch. Instead, the Hawaiian floats forward, getting in with a few leg kicks and swarming her foe with a punch combination. Inaba gets off an inside leg kick that stumbles her opponent, and she tags her with a chain of punches to back her to the wall. Inaba darts in and out throwing hands, and she walks into an elbow—this is a legal blow as it is not part of the tourney—but still pushes the Mexican woman up against the wall. Inaba is active from up close with dirty boxing, scoring shots in close proximity until she backs away to reset. “Lady Samurai” keeps Orozco backed to the cage wall when she blitzes her with punch salvos, and even if every punch does not land, it keeps Orozco pressured. Inaba strikes her way into a tie-up, and she frees her left arm to slam it in Orozco’s ribcage repeatedly. Inaba grinds and keeps jackhammering with her left hand, sprinkling in knees and landing blows to fluster Orozco repeatedly. Inaba ducks down for a level change, but Orozco stands her back up and eats a knee for her handiwork. They split apart, but it takes Inaba just a couple seconds to charge forward again spamming punches. They are not fired with the worst of intentions, as she is content to touch, until she gets tied up in the clinch once more. Orozco uses effective knees to stop any level change or allow Inaba to land anything damaging in the clinch, but Inaba still does work with body shots. Orozco knees any time she has a space to throw them, and Inaba leans forward and smacks Orozco in the calf several times with her shin. The round ends with both women trading from inches away.

Advertisement

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Inaba
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Inaba
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Inaba

Round 2

Inaba reintroduces herself to start off the second round with a plethora of kicks to the head and body. The Hawaiian sets these strikes up with punches, and while Orozco fires back, none of her individual blows have the kind of impact that get Inaba’s respect. As a result, Inaba shifts in and out of range fearlessly, and she strings together combinations that force Orozco to shell up standing. As Inaba concludes a combo, Orozco comes back at her, only to be met with a few fists on her nose. Inaba jabs a front kick to the breadbasket, and she doubles up on a disruptive jab that forces Orozco to try to clinch. Inaba welcomes this by softening up her adversary’s midsection with short body shots, ultimately turning Orozco and pushing her to the fence until she decides to break. Inaba proves the far more accurate of the two, as Orozco winds up on power punches while Inaba is slipping and moving. Orozco tags “Lady Samurai” with an overhand right, and Inaba shakes it off and gets behind her volume approach. Orozco lands, and Inaba strafes to the side and scores last. Inaba swats away a front kick and sneaks in two overhands, and she keeps her guard up to block the head kick from both sides. Orozco attempts to initiate a clinch, and Inaba meets her right in the middle and connects with a flurry of punches. Orozco ducks under and takes Inaba’s back standing, where she pushes the Hawaiian face-first into the chain links. Inaba turns about as she absorbs knees until the horn sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Inaba
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Inaba
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Orozco

Round 3

The flyweights meet in the middle, and Orozco lashes out first with a jab into a right hand. Inaba tosses out a body kick and a jabbing front kick, and she goes low and then back to the body in rapid succession. Orozco comes out swinging, chasing after Inaba, who is out of the way from all but a couple strikes. Orozco sets up a left hook, and she chains it into a right that gets Inaba’s attention. The two trade strikes without batting an eye, and they take turns doing so one after the other. Orozco slips a jab and goes up top with a right hand, and Inaba resets and lands two low kicks. Orozco puts on all the pressure, swinging harder and following the Hawaiian around. “Killer Queen” plants a killer kick on Inaba’s ribs, and Inaba tanks it and keeps going strong. Inaba pushes off of Orozco’s face to get her to slow down, and a finger slides into the Mexican woman’s eye. Anderson calls time and tells her to take the necessary time to recover. After about a minute, Orozco is good to go, and they meet in the middle and immediately throw hands. Inaba stays on her bike, strafing to the side while Orozco stalks her down lobbing bombs. Orozco gets grabbed and clinched, and she punches her way out of it and kicks Inaba in the torso on the way out. Orozco lumbers forward with flailing strikes, keeping Inaba on her back foot consistently. Inaba spins her around in the clinch, but Orozco lands on the break and sneaks a right hand to the temple. Orozco sits down on a right hand as Inaba jabs, and Inaba drags Orozco down into a solid knee. Orozco blinks it out and takes a deep breath, and she chambers and fires a stern body kick. The two bang heads together as Orozco plows forward, and they get stuck in the clinch trading knees. Orozco lands three punches and a knee before Inaba pays her back, and the two trade hands and feet right until time expires. It could be a close one.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Orozco (29-28 Inaba)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Orozco (29-28 Inaba)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Orozco (29-28 Orozco)

The Official Result

Sumiko Inaba def. Saray Orozco via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Juliana Velasquez (125.5) vs. Lisa Mauldin (125.5)

Round 1

Coming into this critical playoff match with the unfortunate distinction of losing to the same fighter three times in a row, Velasquez (12-3, 0-1 PFL) will be thanking her lucky stars she no longer has to face Liz Carmouche. Instead, the level of competition adjusts accordingly given her stretch of losses, and the former Bellator champion takes on Team Oyama product Mauldin (6-4, 2-1 PFL). Playoff points will be on the line from here on out tonight, and referee John English takes that just as serious as the flyweights do. There is a brief touch of gloves, and Mauldin is quick to push out her left hand to measure her range. Mauldin tosses out a calf kick that comes up short, and a second glances off her intended target. Velasquez ducks away from a right hand, and she parries a front kick. Mauldin steps in to throw a punch, and Velasquez meets her with an overhand right. Mauldin blocks an uppercut and a left hand, and she scores a body kick. Velasquez reaches her foe at the end of a left hand, and Mauldin catches a front kick from the Brazilian and pushes her from side of the cage to the other. Mauldin bangs a knee off the chest of her opponent, and she is turned around so she knees Velasquez in the side a few times. Velasquez suddenly surges into action as if a flip had been switched, and she shoves Mauldin away and belts her with a wild flurry of punches. As Velasquez pours it on, Mauldin drops to a knee, and Velasquez practically tackles her to the ground. From on top, Velasquez sits in the guard while striking from above, keeping Mauldin’s neck stuck between the corner of the cage and the floor. Ground-and-pound from Velasquez finds its home on the face of Mauldin, which is showing signs of damage on the bridge of the nose. Mauldin does not like a few strikes and uses upkicks to push Velasquez off of her, and she wall-walks upright only to eat several fierce body shots. Velasquez throws fastball left hands including one she lands to end a clinch, and another that knocks Mauldin back a few steps. Mauldin shoots for a desperation double-leg takedown, and Velasquez is well out of the way as she lets Mauldin back up to throw hands. Velasquez pounds away to the head and body, and she sends Mauldin crashing to the mat with one particularly ruthless liver shot. Mauldin hangs on while on one knee, surviving until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-8 Velasquez
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-8 Velasquez
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-8 Velasquez

Round 2

Mauldin is good to go to start the second round despite being saved by the bell before, and she proves this by throwing a fast punch combination and a head kick to follow. Velasquez walks forward fearlessly, lining a straight right hand down the pipe that sends Mauldin down. Mauldin pursues a desperation single, and Velasquez pushes the back of Mauldin’s neck to hold her to down. Mauldin turns the corner to try to take the back standing, but Velasquez muscles her around and smashes her fist into Mauldin’s belly. Mauldin hits the deck, and Velasquez chases to batter a downed Mauldin, settling to turn her over to her back so she can beat her down. As the hammerfists from the Brazilian rain down, English has no choice but to stop the fight, as Mauldin is not offering much resistance on her own side. Velasquez stops striking, hugs her fallen foe and stands up to unleash a shout. The five points on her playoff sheet keep Velasquez in contention, although she is facing an uphill battle given the remainder of the lineup.

The Official Result

Juliana Velasquez def. Lisa Mauldin R2 1:30 via TKO (Punches)

Tim Johnson (266) vs. Danilo Marques (248.25)

Round 1

The first of five battles of big men keeps the prelims moving, as two men that have a nasty habit of finding themselves in brawls come together to slug it out. UFC and Bellator vet Johnson (17-9, 0-0 PFL) will ply his trade against fellow UFC alum Marques (15-5, 3-1 PFL), and referee Todd Anderson will receive their assignment. Before the hefty fists are traded, they bump them together. Johnson instantly strikes, going after the body with a flurry of fists. Marques ducks away and slams his shin on Johnson’s ribcage, hurting him. Johnson keeps a stiff upper lip, circling away to block a head kick and recover. Johnson slugs Marques in the face with a right hand as he rushes his way into the clinch, where he settles himself down a little dirty boxing. Knees and punches come from Johnson, who presses his full weight on the Brazilian. Marques explodes out of the clinch, and he sits back to throw a front kick. The kick slams square into Johnson’s cup as Johnson simultaneously wings a left hand that sends Marques flying. Marques hits his back in a daze, and Johnson lets out a scream and falls to his knees and rolls around in agony. Marques stands back up, wobbled around, and he is able to recover from a near knockout thanks to his foul. Johnson stands back up after about three minutes on the ground, and he keeps trying to get his wind back as Anderson tries to make sense of this zany turn of events. Anderson remarks to Johnson that this is an unfortunate situation, and laughs are shared due to the unexpected situation. Johnson takes as much time as he can due to how direct and damaging the groin kick was, and Anderson admonishes Marques for the foul. Johnson is able to go, and he leads off behind a half and throws two inside low kicks. Johnson kicks on the outside to mix things up, and he ducks down into an awaiting knee from the Brazilian. Johnson crashes forward, reaching Marques with a massive overhand right, and Marques goes down like a ton of bricks. Johnson attempts to finish the job with a mauling of right hands, but Marques manages to power his way back to his feet. Once more, Johnson clubs him with a series of punches, and Marques goes down once more. Johnson holds him down from behind and batters him with an unending salvo of powerful right hands, and blood starts flowing and spraying on the cage floor as they continue to mount. As Johnson strikes and strikes and strikes again, Anderson makes the call to wave off the fight, thereby awarding six points to Johnson and putting him in decent playoff position for having just one PFL fight this season.

The Official Result

Tim Johnson def. Danilo Marques R1 3:14 via TKO (Punches)

Ilara Joanne (125.5) vs. Shanna Young (126)

Round 1

A pair of flyweights looking to put some points on the board this season will likely conclude with one of these women doing just that. Joanne (11-9, 0-1 PFL) fell for the third time in a row when she lost in April, while Young (9-6, 1-1 PFL) added insult to injury by missing weight before getting beaten by Kana Watanabe, therefore putting her in the precarious position of holding negative points. The fortunes of one lady might turn around, but a finish is all-but required to qualify for the next stage of the million-dollar league. Referee Blake Grice is on the call, and he sits back as the women opt against tapping their hands together. They get right to fighting, with both women trading hands right out of the gate. Joanne gets the better of an exchange to drive Young back, and she catches her two more times to put Young on early notice. Joanne swings recklessly, and Young picks her off with a jab. Joanne reaches at the end of a right hand, and she throws a calf kick for good measure. Joanne attempts a few head kicks, but they all bounce harmlessly off the guard. Joanne sticks her own jab out, and she releases two hooks to follow. Young takes them on the chin without flinching, and her counter high kick is out of range. Young jabs with the ball of her foot, and Joanne responds with a shin to the guts. Joanne kicks her way into a punch combo, and she sneaks up a high kick that slaps Young in the face. Joanne just misses with a stabbing front kick up the middle, but the leg kick does connect cleanly. Joanne lunges with a one-two, and her high kick slams into the shoulder. Joanne steps through a punch to deliver an overhand right over the top, and she clips Young with a left as well. Young keeps moving forward despite getting outstruck, and she swats out with a few left hooks that are range-finders. Joanne keeps a compact combination of punches together on the inside, and Young crashes the pocket as they clack heads. Young squeezes “Arya Stark” against the wall, but she is quickly turned around by the Brazilian. Joanne trips her opponent and drags her to the floor, where she drops down a few hammerfists before Young climbs back to her feet. Joanne looks to take control of the back standing, and she tosses Young down once more before the round concludes.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Joanne
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Joanne
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Joanne

Round 2

The flyweights meet in the middle, and they both stick out their jabs early. Young blocks a head kick and throws one back, and Joanne strafes to the side to get away from it. Joanne steps into a heavy calf kick, and she snaps the head back with a jab and puts a head kick right behind it. Joanne hacks at the front leg again, and her one-two is inches shy of her intended target. The Brazilian loads up on right hands, and she stings Young with a shorter left. Joanne throws so hard into her punches that she turns herself around when missing, but when she does hit, Young reels. As time keeps ticking off the clock, both women find themselves out of playoff contention, and are now just fighting for the second check and a potential late replacement callup. They continue trading one after the other, with Joanne swinging heavier and doing solid work with her jab. Joanne jabs and then puts three punches behind them, and Young can do nothing but take them on the chin. They throw simultaneous head kicks, and “The Shanimal” goes wild with an axe kick that does not connect. Joanne targets the calf with impunity, not letting Young get off much before intercepting her with one of these strikes or a sharp jab. Young walks into two punches, and she tries to counter but the Brazilian is out of the way in time. A thudding right hand from “Arya Stark” finds its mark on the noggin, and Young tanks it and keeps right on ticking. As Joanne’s jabs and right hands keep connecting, she busts Young’s nose open. Young decides to throw caution to the wind and brawl, and Joanne obliges her. This opens Joanne up to getting taken down, as Young tackles her to the ground. Joanne climbs her way up despite Young behind her, and Young hangs on her until the bell.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Joanne
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Joanne
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Joanne

Round 3

It takes six seconds for Joanne to land her first strike in the last round, doing so in the form of a jab. Young fires back but is inaccurate as Joanne is away. Joanne plants a one-two on the chin and kicks the body, and she slaps a low kick down on the calf to keep things mixed. Young bites down on her mouthpiece to engage, and Joanne beats her to the punch and drives her back with a heavier combination. Young does not appear fazed even as Joanne has outstruck her by a wide margin, although the calf kicks have had a small but appreciable effect. Joanne uses a hook-jab combination, and doubles up on it before tossing out a body kick. Young’s high kick rebounds off the guard, and she surges into action and is caught by a right hand. Joanne trips during the flurry, and Young rushes at her sensing an opening. Joanne breaks away and gets back to her preferred range, where she does work from afar with jabs and crosses. Young blocks a high kick and shakes her head, and Joanne puts everything she has into a right hand that buzzes the tower. Grice does not spill his coffee as the two keep trading hands. Young pays her foe back with an inside calf kick, and Joanne ignores it and puts two punches and a body kick on her right back. Young walks Joanne down but does not throw much of note, instead waiting for Joanne to open up with a side kick. Young catches the kick and tackles Joanne to the floor, where she lands in side control before swarming around to take the back. Young hunts for a choke and lets Joanne turns so she can keep fighting for a rear-naked choke, but Joanne remains busy by slugging from behind her head on the nose of Young. Joanne rides out the round, stands up and leaps into the arms of her coach.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Joanne (30-27 Joanne)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Young (29-28 Joanne)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Young (29-28 Joanne)

The Official Result

Ilara Joanne def. Shanna Young via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 29-28)

Marcelo Golm (266) vs. Tyrell Fortune (253)

Round 1

Like Velasquez earlier in the night, Brazil’s Golm (10-5, 0-1 PFL) is happy to be fighting new, as the heavy-handed heavyweight has back-to-back defeats to Daniel James marking his ledger. He draws Bellator staple Fortune (13-2, 2 NC; 0-0 PFL), who is making his first appearance under a different banner although in a familiar stomping ground of Uncasville, Connecticut, as he has fought in this arena seven times already. The referee for this one will be John English, and he starts the match as the fights meet in the middle and tap hands. Fortune is quick to shoot in for a single-leg entry, and Golm stands him up and knees him in the belly. Fortune muscles the Brazilian toward the fence, where he gloms on and hold Golm there, grinding with knees and short punches. Golm spins out, and he dodges a right hand on the break and plants a kick on the calf. Golm’s front kick jams into the thigh, and he goes after another calf kick. Fortune flicks out a jab, and he ducks a one-two to change levels. Golm stops it, but this time Fortune throws a strike as he comes up with an uppercut. Golm tosses out a naked leg kick, and Fortune counters with a fireball of a right hand over the top. The Brazilian eats it without issue and attacks with his own big right hand, and he hops away from the counter. Golm lands up top and opens a left hand to the liver, backing Fortune off momentarily. Fortune springs into action, throwing punches including a straight right hand that glances off the temple. Fortune has another double fail, and Golm digs a kick to the liver. Fortune bends over and backs to the wall, and Golm rips a few body shots and overhand rights. Fortune breaks away and takes a breath, and he unloads with a bomb of a right hand that shakes up Golm’s balance. Golm wears it well and keeps going forward, stabbing the midsection with his toes and ducking a huge left hook. The punches from Golm hurt Fortune again as he goes to the body, and he strings a long chain of punches together to the head and midsection as Fortune is on the proverbial ropes. Fortune absorbs the combos and explodes out of the position, and he turns Golm around and unleashes hell with a huge right hand. Golm stumbles and bounces off the fence, and Fortune chases him down and blasts him with heavy punches. As Golm on is on his knees, the bell sounds, and Fortune keeps punching. English steps in, but not to wave the fight off but to intervene between rounds. Golm recovers just enough to reach the second round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fortune
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Fortune
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Fortune

Round 2

Golm strikes first to begin the round with a brilliant head kick, shaking Fortune up badly. The Brazilian chases the blow with a few punches, further damaging Fortune, and forcing the Arizona Combat Sports fighter to shoot for a double. Fortune manages to put Golm on his back, and he gets his wits about him and starts delivering ground-and-pound. Golm wall-walks to get to a knee, but Fortune wrenches him back down to the mat. Fortune rains down blows, and Golm is stuck flat on his back with Fortune in half guard. English takes a close look at the action as Fortune drops down punches and gets away with at least one elbow while spamming strikes. Golm complains about something, and Fortune postures up and punches him in the face. Fortune resides in top position, hanging on rather than striking much, and English asks for more activity. Fortune answers with some body shots, and Golm laughs at him. Golm uses butterfly hooks to push off and then hunt for an armbar, but Fortune pushes him aside and moves to side control. Golm turns to his knees, and Fortune drops down punches until the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fortune
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Fortune
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Fortune

Round 3

The heavyweights bump fists to get going, and Golm slings an overhand right at his man. Fortune powers forward, bull-rushing forward to slam into Golm’s chest and drive him down to the floor. Fortune lands in half guard, where he keeps Golm stuck without a way out. The ground-and-pound from Fortune is not particularly damaging, but the numbers add up as he bops Golm with either fist. Golm scoots to the wall, but Fortune uses heavy pressure to pin and nullify him. Fortune winds up with a few punches, and Golm sits up and puts his back to the cage wall. Fortune sits up as well, and he smacks Golm in the side of the face a couple times before dragging him flat down again. Golm uses all his might to turn to his knees, and Fortune clobbers him with right hands until the Brazilian is forced to turn over so he can defend himself. Fortune smothers and maintains top position, doing just enough to back English off from a possible standup. At the 10-second clapper, Fortune drives down two heavy blows, and he gets off one or two more before the conclusion of the match.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Fortune (30-27 Fortune)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Fortune (30-27 Fortune)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Fortune (30-27 Fortune)

The Official Result

Tyrell Fortune def. Marcelo Golm via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-26)

Oleg Popov (245) vs. Davion Franklin (*268.5: Missed Weight)

Round 1

The one catchweight contest of the evening comes at an extremely rare position above heavyweight at 269 pounds. While once-beaten Russian Popov (17-1, 1-0 PFL) easily made weight, the same could not be said for Jackson-Wink’s Franklin (6-2, 0-0 PFL). Due to the over two-pound issue on the scales, Franklin has been forced to hand over 20% of his fight purse to Popov, and he will also lose one point on the playoff picture before the fight even begins—therefore a first-round finish would only net him five points, for example. Keeping tabs on this de facto super heavyweight affair will be referee Blake Grice, who stands back to let big men do their thing. Franklin meanders forward, blocking a few punches, and Popov ducks under the hands and hurls Franklin to his knees. Franklin pulls himself back to his feet by grabbing the fence, and Popov presses tightly against him spamming knees to the thigh. Popov fishes for a trip, ends up finding an angle on the other side, and chucks Franklin down to a 50-50 position. Franklin stands back up first and blasts Popov with a knee on the chin, and Popov backs off and takes a quick count of his teeth. Popov blitzes forward with a one-two, and he sling a second as he catches Franklin flush. Popov’s overhand right seems to land every time, and he ducks under a looping punch and scoops Franklin up to set him down. Franklin turns the corner and jumps up with a surprise flying knee, and Popov just misses. Popov gathers himself and lets go with a left hand before shooting to a double, and Franklin climbs back up and once more tries with a flying knee. This time around, Popov uses the momentum against him and pitches “All Day” down to the floor, where he lands heavy on top in side control. The Russian isolates Franklin’s left arm to set up a crucifix position, and he rains down punches and wishes he could use elbows. Popov lets go of his legs laced around the hand to isolate Franklin’s right arm, and Popov torques a keylock with all his might. Franklin is able to power out of the bad position, so Popov resettles in the crucifix. When Franklin explodes again, Popov keeps the trap set and pounds down. Franklin still manages to turn himself over, where he returns to his knees. Franklin stands back up, and Popov slings him down in the other direction. Popov hunts to crucify Franklin again, and he grips a two-on-one on Franklin’s right arm for one last keylock try. He bails on it, and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Popov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Popov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Popov

Round 2

Popov says hello in the second round by kicking Franklin in the belly, and Franklin surges into action throwing hands. Popov backs off, and Franklin slams his shin on the front leg. Popov chambers and fires a body kick, following it with a right hand and dropping down for a single. Franklin keeps himself upright in part to a cage grab, and Popov switches to a double to complete it. Franklin bursts back to his feet, and Popov is on him chaining takedown attempts before setting Franklin down once more. The Russian climbs to three-quarter mount before stepping over when Franklin turns, and he punches the back of the head a couple times as Grice warns him. Franklin wall-walks to get to a knee, and Popov sucks his hips out immediately. Franklin uses all his energy to get back to a knee, and Popov is a wet blanket, draining the offense and gas from his tank. Franklin sits up in an effort to escape, and he stands up with the wall at his side. Popov looks to hit a mat return from behind, and he sells out for a single when the first try does not work. Popov has a takedown stifled by a fence grab from the Jackson-Wink MMA fighter, but Popov still manages to wrest him there and take full mount. Franklin turns over, and Popov accepts mount briefly before Franklin crawls to the fence. Popov grinds and knees Franklin in the thigh and body while holding on from on top, imposing his body weight and making Franklin’s life miserable until the bell sounds.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Popov
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Popov
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Popov

Round 3

Franklin rushes out of his corner throwing everything he has at the Russian, hellbent for leather. Popov ducks down smartly in pursuit of a single, where he lifts “All Day” off the ground and deposits him gingerly to the canvas. From there, Popov can stay on top all day. Light ground-and-pound comes from the exhausted Popov, but he does not land frequently or heavily enough to make Grice remotely consider intervening. Popov slugs with fatigued left hands, and Franklin rests on his face that has started to leak blood. Popov keeps right on punching when he has a chance, appearing of the “stay busy” variety than the fight-ending type. Grice checks to make sure Franklin is not grabbing the inside of his foe’s gloves, and Popov continues his slow-motion bombardment of unanswered left hands. The crowd grows restless at this glacial display of heavyweight grappling, and Popov does not pick it up or change his tempo one iota. Franklin is out of options and completely spent, flat on his back as he turns over to accept Popov in half guard. Franklin paws with his fists from off his back, but they have no mustard on them so Popov does not pay them any mind. Popov rides out the remainder of the fight with this less-than-thrilling approach, grinding out the match and going to the scorecards, where he will reclaim the top position on the heavyweight leaderboard.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Popov (30-27 Popov)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Popov (30-27 Popov)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Popov (30-27 Popov)

The Official Result

Oleg Popov def. Davion Franklin via Unanimous Decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-25)

Taila Santos (125.75) vs. Jena Bishop (125)

Round 1

Of all the fights on the card, this one at 125 pounds is the only bout pitting two fighters with six points against one another. Santos (20-3, 1-0 PFL) snared a quick six when she tapped Ilara Joanne, while Bishop (7-0, 1-0 PFL) put herself on the leaderboard with her first-round armbar of Chelsea Hackett. Neither woman has ever been submitted, so it will be interesting to see if they put their grappling to the test. Whether it lasts three minutes or all three rounds, referee Dan Miragliotta has prepared himself for what’s to come. Santos races out of her corner, no plan on bumping fists, and instead releases a quick head kick. Bishop bounces off the cage wall, gathers her thoughts and grapples Santos in the open cage. Initiating in the clinch, Bishop succeeds in moving Santos to the fence, and Santos turns her around and threatens with her own throw. Bishop lands a few knees to spur Santos into working the body, and Santos sells out for a takedown and is stood up. They hook up in a Thai clinch, striking one another with knees, and Bishop changes things up and searches for a double-leg takedown. Santos fights off the first attempt and the second, and she sprawls her hips and puts her back to the wire to defend from going down. Bishop looks for the takedown, and Santos turns her around and plants the American on her back. Bishop uses an offensive guard, searching for any exposed limb or even a temporarily loss of focus to snatch something up. Santos defends against a triangle choke setup and starts softening the body up while not exposing herself to a trap. Santos breaks up a high guard try from Bishop courtesy of a swinging right hand, and Bishop keeps her guard closed tight when not searching for something. Bishop scores punches from off her back, but Santos in response are far more effective. The rounds with both women trying to get into a slugfest while horizontal.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Santos

Round 2

Santos is the aggressor to start off the second round just like the first, and she stalks Bishop down and lands two heavy low kicks. The second almost knocks Bishop off-balance, and she recovers and throws big hands in response. Bishop punches her way into a takedown setup, where she uses a body lock in an effort to hurl the Brazilian to the canvas. Santos remains on her feet and keeps her back to the cage to defend from the level changes, and Bishop sells out for one by going deep for a double. Santos gets dragged to the floor for a moment, and she springs back up and turns Bishop around. Santos hunts for a sweep, and Bishop is wise to it as looks for her own takedown. Santos muscles her opponent around and gets off some dirty boxing, with knees and punches but no elbows. Santos trips Bishop up and dumps her to the floor, giving Bishop a taste of her own medicine for a moment. Santos climbs back into the guard, and Bishop exerts herself heavily to set up rubber guard or some sort of posture that can keep her free of ground-and-pound. Santos is content to ride and run up the control clock, and she does just that as any setup from Bishop falls short. The round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Santos
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Santos

Round 3

Like the last two rounds, the Brazilian puts on the pressure first. After landing kicks, Santos strides to the side to avoid a response. Bishop whiffs on a one-two, and a second bounces off the guard. Santos chips away with calf kicks and jabs, and Bishop grits her teeth and plows through them throwing wild punches. Santos beats her to the punch with quick, straight strikes, and Bishop plods forward ducking her head down. Santos digs a front kick up the middle and counters a left hand from “Poison” with a venomous right hand over the top. Santos stays in her preferred range, peppering Bishop with kicks and rangy punches. Santos slams her shin on the lead wheel of her foe, and Bishop connects with two solid left hands. Santos shoots for a takedown, and Bishop turns the corner and chucks her to the floor. The American climbs into full mount, and she follows Santos who turns to give up her back. Bishop isolates the neck with a rear-naked choke grip, and she settles to squeeze the face rather than sneak it under the neck. Bishop also gets the body lock wrapped around the waist, and she works on Santos with left hands to open up a sub attempt. Bishop goes after another face crank, and Santos toughs it out. Bishop slithers her arm around the face, and Santos hand-fights to break it up. With 30 seconds to spare, the former UFC title challenger spins around in the guard, and she shrugs off a submission setup from her foe. Santos hangs on tight and the fight mercifully comes to a conclusion.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Bishop (29-28 Santos)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Bishop (29-28 Santos)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Bishop (29-28 Santos)

The Official Result

Taila Santos def. Jena Bishop via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)

Liz Carmouche (126) vs. Kana Watanabe (125.75)

Round 1

In her last seven fights including this one, Carmouche (21-7, 1-0 PFL) will have fought four different people. Winner of her trilogy against Juliana Velasquez, “Girl-Rilla” now finds herself matched against another former foe in Watanabe (13-2-1, 1-0 PFL) whom she finished in 2021. Both women come into this bout with three points apiece, so only one of them will advance with the victory. Referee Bryan Miner will know which of the two earned it first, and he claps them in. Watanabe shoots from one side of the cage to the other, diving after a double. Carmouche sprawls to stop the takedown from going anywhere, and she holds down on the back of Watanabe’s neck to keep her from going anywhere. Carmouche fights off the takedown until she sets up a potential guillotine choke with Watanabe crouched down, and she abandons it when Watanabe tries to walk up the cage. Carmouche blasts her with two clean knees, and she considers pulling for an arm-in guillotine choke. Watanabe returns to a single knee, and Carmouche wrenches on her neck making her life miserable. Watanabe fights off the submission setup by hand-fighting, and she stands up right into knees. Carmouche lands knees until the Japanese woman gets vertical, and she lands a short punch and gets tripped. Watanabe lands on top, and Carmouche isolates Watanabe’s right arm to hunt for a kimura for a sweep. Carmouche transitions into an armbar, and Watanabe stacks her up to stay tightly pressed and not allow “Girl-Rilla” to lock the sub down. Carmouche lets go and sets up a high guard, keeping Watanabe from landing anything of merit from above. Watanabe shucks it aside and climbs into the half guard, as she holds on with tight chest pressure and little else. Carmouche turns to her side, and Watanabe ends the round with a few hammerfists.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Carmouche
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Carmouche
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Watanabe

Round 2

Watanabe sprints out of her corner just like the previous round, and she again tries for the distant takedown. Carmouche stops it in its tracks like before, and she breaks away and forces them to stand back up. Watanabe dives for another double, and Carmouche tosses her aside. Watanabe grabs hold of any part of Carmouche she can find, and Carmouche spins her around and lowers her to the floor. Carmouche takes Watanabe’s back, where she slides one hook in. Carmouche uses her free left hand to land shots, and she fishes for a neck as Watanabe attempts to slide out the back door. Carmouche uses the rear-naked choke grip to squeeze Watanabe’s face, and she abandons it as the face crank is not there. Watanabe finds herself in potential armbar danger as Carmouche is turned over, and Carmouche searches for an omoplata but lets that go as Watanabe steps over to top position. Watanabe assumes control and clings to the Bellator champ, opting against striking to isolate the neck for an arm-triangle choke. Watanabe looks to step over so she can lock the choke down on the other side, and she manages to work her way over to fasten the choke. Carmouche kicks and bucks, flailing her legs and getting just enough leverage to sit up and take some pressure off of her neck. Watanabe releases the submission to posture and drop down punches, and she goes for a rear-naked choke that is not under the chin with seconds to spare. Carmouche signals the thumbs-up motion and the round ends.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Watanabe
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Watanabe
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Watanabe

Round 3

Watanabe is energized between rounds, but she does not race ahead for a takedown. Instead, Watanabe wants to strike, and Carmouche kicks her leg out. Watanabe shoots for a double, and she drives Carmouche back to the fencing. Carmouche gets off short knees until Watanabe drops to her knees in pursuit of another takedown, and Carmouche stifles this single and turns her around to let Watanabe stand up. Carmouche measures a standing Watanabe and unloads a huge right hand and it barely misses. Watanabe shells up, Carmouche slugging away, and she leaves her chin open just long enough to get cracked by two vicious shots that put her down on the ground. Carmouche leaps on top of her, in hopes of finishing the job, but she finds herself having to fight off a defensive single from the Japanese woman to stop the hammerfists. Carmouche backs away, and when Watanabe slowly works her way up, Carmouche sprints at her and busts her in the chops with a ferocious right hand. Watanabe hits the deck again, and Carmouche allows her to shoot on her so she can jump guard for a guillotine choke. Watanabe grits out the submission and shifts to half guard, again looking for control first rather than a specific attack. When Carmouche turns to her side, Watanabe lands a few strikes, but Carmouche is otherwise stifling her from getting anything off. Carmouche connects with a handful of powerful strikes from her back, getting Watanabe’s attention and hitting her far harder than Watanabe landed on her. Watanabe throws caution to the wind and starts winging big punches, and she does until Carmouche latches onto a late-second armbar. Watanabe stands up, but she cannot escape this precarious position. As Watanabe considers lifting Carmouche up and slamming her down, her elbow hyperextends and she calmly taps out. This is a huge late win for the Bellator champ, who wipes out any concern that the scorecards could have been close by pulling off a stoppage with less than 10 seconds left. That makes nine straight wins for the former marine out of California, who punches her ticket to the playoffs with the four-point submission victory.

The Official Result

Liz Carmouche def. Kana Watanabe R3 4:52 via Submission (Armbar)

Denis Goltsov (243) vs. Thiago Santos (241)

Round 1

Going on yet another run at the big check, Russian bogeyman Goltsov (33-8, 11-3 PFL) steps into the PFL cage with four points. Standing across from him is former middleweight Santos (22-12, 1 NC; 0-1, 1 NC PFL), who clocked in at 241 ready pounds. If the Brazilian hopes to qualify, he may need to land his first knockout since 2019. At this size anything can happen, and referee Dan Miragliotta knows it. The heavyweights tap gloves together, and Goltsov moves to the center of the cage and introduces his jab. Santos kicks the lead leg twice, and he rips the body with a concussive blow from his shin. As Santos swings hard, Goltsov clips him with a short left hook, and “Marreta” hits the canvas. Goltsov rushes after his downed foe and looks for a finishing salvo, but Santos appears recovered and defends himself from the oncoming strikes. Goltsov adjusts himself and climbs to the side, and he steps over to lock down an arm-triangle choke. Santos turns, and Goltsov is warned for striking him in the back of the head. Santos powers back to his feet, and Goltsov wrenches him right back down. The Russian pounds away with a number of unanswered right hands, and he flattens Santos out and continues to hammer him. As Santos shells up, Goltsov is riding on top of him like he just tamed a stallion. Goltsov clobbers Santos with as many punches as he can land before Miragliotta has seen enough, and he dismounts “Marreta” and walks away, confident that this year will finally be his year.

The Official Result

Denis Goltsov def. Thiago Santos R1 2:22 via TKO (Punches)

Dakota Ditcheva (125.5) vs. Chelsea Hackett (125.75)

Round 1

While almost every fight on the card sees a favorite of at least -200, this co-main event draws the widest disparity of them all. At a whopping -3300, Ditcheva (11-0, 6-0 PFL) is expected to blaze through Australian kickboxer Hackett (4-2-1, 1-1 PFL) at +1200. Anything can happen in MMA, and referee Blake Grice knows it. There is no fist bump, as Hackett instead wants to get started immediately. Hackett pushes out a front kick, and Ditcheva responds with a few kicks of her own. Hackett throws a naked kick, and Ditcheva slugs her in the chops with a right hand that puts the Aussie on her seat. Hackett climbs back up, and Ditcheva jams her up against the fence. Ditcheva frames off and uses knees on the inside, and Hackett spins her around for a potential trip takedown. Ditcheva stands tall after the first effort, and Hackett attempts to drag her down from behind but is similarly unsuccessful. Hackett stays stuck on Ditcheva, torquing a few times to try to rip “Dangerous Dakota” to the mat, but Ditcheva’s balance remains solid. Ditcheva spins herself around and knees Hackett in the gut, and Hackett knees her back. Ditcheva lands two knees to the body and a right hand to break off, and they get back to kickboxing range. Ditcheva boots Hackett in the face with a front kick, and the Aussie does not flinch. Ditcheva surges forward, planting a left hand on the jaw, and Hackett shakes it off and gets shoved back to the wire. As punches and knees find their target on the face, Hackett’s visage begins to transform into a bloody mess. A salvo of fiery fists damage “The Hammer” and stop her in her tracks, with one nasty body shot from Ditcheva totally short-circuiting her adversary. Hackett receives the delayed signal from her brain that her goose is cooked, and she turns and bends over, totally wrecked. Ditcheva finishes the job with a few academic punches, and Grice leaps between them to wave the fight off. This was largely one-way traffic for the still-undefeated Ditcheva, who earns a date against Jena Bishop in the playoffs while Liz Carmouche will take on Taila Santos in the other half of the semis.

The Official Result

Dakota Ditcheva def. Chelsea Hackett R1 3:22 via TKO (Punch to the Body)

Valentin Moldavsky (243) vs. Linton Vassell (231.5)

Round 1

In March 2019, Moldavsky (13-3, 1 NC; 1-0 PFL) and Vassell (23-9, 1 NC; 0-1 PFL) met at Bellator 218, and the Russian pulled off the win to edge himself closer to title contention. After Moldavsky surrendered his interim belt to be unified by Ryan Bader, Moldavsky took on “Big Swarm” for a second time, only to get finished for the first time in his career. To headline this show with crucial playoff points on the line, Moldavsky vs. Vassell 3 will play out in another three-round heavyweight affair. Referee Dan Miragliotta will handle the particulars, and with no ill will towards one another, the fighters bump fists. They do not engage early, as it takes more than 15 seconds for a strike to be thrown. Moldavsky tosses out a half-hearted low kick, and Vassell gives him one back much harder. Moldavsky slings a right hand over the top, and Vassell wants to pay him back with an identical blow as he throws himself off-balance. Moldavsky circles away, and Vassell walks him down with his jab outstretched. Moldavsky fights behind his own jab, and he sinks a leg kick home on the outside before digging two punches to the body and a third up top. Moldavsky charges in and dings Vassell with a right hand, and Vassell shrugs it off and continues marching forward. Vassell keeps his guard up to block the head shots, and he intercepts the Russian with a check left hook but is not far enough away to avoid a low kick. Moldavsky chips away on the other side, and he ducks a few swarming punches from “Big Swarm.” Moldavsky times a short right hook as Vassell is advancing, dropping the Brit to a knee. Moldavsky shoots for a deep double, pushing Vassell against the wire. Using sheer muscle, Moldavsky drags Vassell down, but Vassell is able to pop right back up. Vassell posts off his right arm to keep his balance as Moldavsky imposes his weight, and Vassell explodes to turn his man about and knee him in the belly. Moldavsky drives a knee square into the cup in response, and Vassell crumples to his knees. Moldavsky shakes his finger as if to say he did not commit the foul, and replay shows it was about as clear of a groin shot as it could be. Vassell is in a bad way, and Moldavsky shakes his head and complains, under the expectation that his knee to the groin was somehow legal. Vassell stays on his knees, face down and not reacting well, while Moldavsky rolls his eyes dismissively. The Brit sits on his heels as he continues the recovery process, and he manages to stand up but is clearly compromised. Moldavsky goes over to hug Vassell in an apology, and Vassell drops back down to a crouched position. Vassell stands back up and leans himself against the fence, grimacing all the while as he adjusts his cup. Vassell indicates to Miragliotta that he will be able to keep going, and Miragliotta warns that Moldavsky another foul will result in a disqualification. Vassell rushes out ready to strike, trying to take out some aggression on his opponent, and he slings multiple head kicks. Moldavsky ducks down and trips him up, but not before he sustains damage above his left ear. The round ends with Moldavsky trying to get some ground strikes going on top.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Moldavsky
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Moldavsky
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Moldavsky

Round 2

Vassell keeps shaking out his cup to continue recovering as the second round begins. Moldavsky darts forward behind his jab, and he throws a low kick at the same time Vassell does. They clash shins, and Vassell tries to follow with another and a left over the top. The Brit misses with an overhand right, but he times a reaching Moldavsky with a pair of punches to surprise him. Moldavsky goes all-out for a double, and he scoops Vassell up and deposits him to the floor. Vassell wall-walks to a knee, and Moldavsky tries to hold him down but is not able to keep him there. Moldavsky searches for a mat return and lands it, and he retains smothering top control while sitting on one of Vassell’s legs. Vassell gets to his knees, and he walks himself upright despite Moldavsky’s attempts to thwart this. Moldavsky punches twice and exerts all his energy for a double, and he readjusts and is stood up. Moldavsky drops down deep for a double, and Vassell’s balance holds up. Moldavsky sneaks in uppercuts, and he shoots low for another double and comes up short. Vassell smashes a knee to the chest, and Moldavsky ducks down to not absorb another one of those blows. Vassell digs another knee to the sternum, and he drills Moldavsky in the face with a knee on the forehead. Vassell jumps excitedly into the guard of his opponent, and he uses his left arm to hold Moldavsky down while striking with the right. Moldavsky twists and tries to move, but Vassell climbs into half guard to pin him down. With Moldavsky hand-fighting effectively, he is able to slow Vassell from getting off much ground-and-pound of note, and the Brit clings to ride out the round.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vassell
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Vassell
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Vassell

Round 3

The last round begins with Vassell trying to keep his man at the edge of his jab, so as to not let Moldavsky lunge for a takedown. Vassell stumbles Moldavsky with a punch combination, and he parries Moldavsky’s response. Moldavsky presses forward in pursuit of a single, and he changes it to a double as he attempts to elevate the hips. Vassell turns him around and lands on top, where he slips a hook around the back and nearly slides out the back door. Vassell tries to push in a second hook, but Moldavsky clears it away and turns Vassell over. Moldavsky starts up his slow, methodical ground barrage with a half guard position, and Vassell clings to his left wrist to stop strikes from landing. As Vassell explodes to get up, Moldavsky pushes him over, but Vassell keeps moving and manages to sweep the Russian. Moldavsky tries to turn and sit up, only for Vassell to step over and flatten him out. Moldavsky keeps shifting and turning in hopes of recovering position, and he manages to get himself on his knees so he can crawl towards the wall. Vassell hangs on from behind, and Moldavsky pulls himself upright with a cheeky fence grab. Moldavsky turns the corner and goes after a double, and Vassell finds himself defending again. Vassell hits the ground in hopes of snagging a kimura sweep, but Moldavsky rides through it and winds up partially on top. Vassell uses sheer force of will to get back up, and he knees Moldavsky a few times on the inside. Moldavsky goes after one more finalizing takedown, and he lifts Vassell and dumps him on his seat. Moldavsky musters a few punches before the exhausted heavyweights find that time has expired, and this rubber match could go either way. With this fight in the books, the heavyweight and women’s flyweight brackets are officially narrowed down to their final four. The 125-pound semis are listed at the end of the previous fight, while the two heavyweight contests in the playoffs will be Denis Goltsov vs. Tim Johnson and Oleg Popov against Moldavsky—with Vassell not doing enough to punch his ticket to the next stage. When those playoffs happen in a few months, we will be here for them. We hope you are too.

Sherdog Scores

Jay Pettry scores the round: 10-9 Vassell (29-28 Vassell)
Brian Knapp scores the round: 10-9 Moldavsky (29-28 Moldavsky)
Scottie Smith scores the round: 10-9 Vassell (29-28 Vassell)

The Official Result

Linton Vassell def. Valentin Moldavsky via Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
More

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Latest News

POLL

Who will leave Manchester with the UFC welterweight title?

FIGHT FINDER


FIGHTER OF THE WEEK

Jarred Brooks

TOP TRENDING FIGHTERS


+ FIND MORE