Linton Vassell, Valentin Moldavsky Excited to Complete Trilogy Under PFL Banner

Linton Vassell just knew he was going to see Valentin Moldavsky again.

“I just had a feeling and then it was funny, as you saw, Valentin called me out,” Vassell said during a PFL media call. “I knew the trilogy was gonna happen at some point. I probably thought it would happen in the final because I didn't expect to lose my first fight.

“So to me, I knew it was going to happen at some point and I'm excited that it's happening. I think it needs to happen, and this is something that has made me train even harder for this fight, considering my last outcome and considering this is a rubber match and I need to get some points.”

Vassell and Moldavsky will meet for a third time in the main event of PFL 4 on June 13 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The heavyweights squared off twice under the Bellator MMA banner, with Moldavsky winning via unanimous decision in March 2019 and Vassell avenging that defeat with a first-round knockout in March 2023.

With his latest defeat to Vassell still relatively fresh, Moldavsky has updated his approach accordingly.

“Yes, I [made] some adjustments because we met twice already,” Moldavsky said. “So we know each other pretty well. So yes, some corrections were [made] within this training camp and I'm ready. I'm training hard and I'm ready for this fight [on June 13].”

The rivals experienced opposite results in their respective PFL debuts. Vassell will need to do some serious work to make up ground in the heavyweight standings after suffering a third-round TKO defeat to Denis Goltsov at PFL 1. While he admittedly would like to finish Moldavsky, Vassell won’t force things in the trilogy after making some mental errors against Goltsov.

“I'm just looking to get the win, and it will come when it comes,” Vassell said. “I think if you start trying to look and push things, things are not going to go your way. The reason I say that, because the last fight in my head, I was going to finish [Goltsov] quick, took him down, and I nearly did finish him before I got tired and whatever happened. You're damned if you do, damned if you don’t. And I was nearly able to finish him, but you know what it is so I think the win will come when it comes.”

Moldavsky, meanwhile, made short work of 2022 PFL champion Ante Dellija, finishing his opponent inside of a round for six points. That performance only served to make a statement about the Russian’s end goal: a PFL heavyweight title.

“I really want to win this because it's definitely the biggest challenge in my career so far,” Moldavsky said. “I definitely want to win it, and we'll see what's going to happen.”

Vassell also came away impressed with his opponent’s most recent performance.

“He did exactly what you had to do, man,” Vassell said. “He went in there and obviously stopped the former champion. So all hats off to him, man. He did great. So I need to go in there now and beat beat the guys at the top of the top of the heavyweight pole right now.” For this rubber match, there are the obvious stakes of winning the head-to-head series. But there’s also a matter of securing PFL postseason position.

“I know he's obviously changed his game plan a little bit and the same here,” Vassell said. “So I'm excited for this trilogy, man. Bragging rights on the line, points on the table as well.”

Added Moldvavsky: “I have to do my job. I have to be ready … I feel like I’m ready and you know [June 13] will show [that].”

Subscribe to our Newsletter

* indicates required
Latest News


Which bout do you prefer atop UFC 303?



Jingnan Xiong