Valentin Moldavsky (Bellator MMA)

PFL 4: 2024 Regular Season Preview and Predictions

The PFL Regular Season returns to action this week with the heavyweights and women’s flyweights being showcased inside the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Headlining the card is the rubber match between two former Bellator standouts Valentin Moldavsky and Linton Vissell. The pair first met in 2019 with Moldavsky scoring a unanimous decision win and then again in 2023 where Vissell evened the score by picking up a first round TKO victory. Moldavsky won his first fight of 2024 whereas Vissell dropped his first outing of the year to Denis Goltsov.

The co-main event features an undefeated prospect looking to move to 12-0 against a fellow up and comer. At just 25 years old, Dakota Ditcheva has already notched nine knockouts in her career and looks to make it ten against 4-2-1 Chelsea Hackett. Hackett dropped her first fight of 2024 to Jena Bishop but at just 24 years old she still may have a bright future ahead of her should she be able to close some of the gaps in her skill set.

Valentin Moldavsky and Linton Vissell split their two fights under the Bellator banner; which man gets the job done and wins the trilogy now that they both are in the PFL?


Linton Vissell has been around forever. I remember watching him come up through Bellator beginning over a decade ago and he had a great career, but his days of being a threat to some of the best fighters on the planet are gone.

That might sound like a wild thing to say since it was just a year ago that Vissell defeated Moldavsky in the first round but the guy who got mollywhopped by Denis Goltsov earlier this year was not the same guy who beat Moldavsky in 2023. Father time is undefeated as they say and the Goltsov fight was a prime example of that. This one doesn’t take long and Moldavsky will get a dominant stoppage win. It is probably time for the 41 year old Vissell to hang up the gloves and ride off into the sunset.

Dakota Ditcheva is undefeated; can she keep her zero in the loss column when she fights Chelsea Hackett?

This is a showcase fight for Dakota Ditcheva. All respect to Chelsea Hackett but she is going to be overmatched tremendously in this contest. Ditcheva is a knockout artist who has scored stoppages in her last six bouts. There really is no mystery to how this one plays out, it will be a dominant performance for Ditcheva who will improve her record to 12-0 and add a tenth knockout to her resume.

Thiago Santos has not won a fight since 2021; can he finally get back on track and get past Denis Goltsov?

No. The time of “Marreta” being a feared fighter is gone. Some folks thought that moving to the PFL would give the Brazilian marauder one last push towards glory but they have been mistaken. I was one of those people. Things have not worked out that way. He just does not have the same explosive power he once did that made him the first person to really test Jon Jones and actually take a scorecard from the controversial UFC legend.

This is the end of the line for Santos. He will find himself in the cage against a natural heavyweight in Goltsov and he won’t have the power advantage he was accustomed to having against most opponents. Santos will throw lumbering punches that Goltsov will easily avoid and counter. This will leave Santos out of position, as he doesn’t move his lower body particularly well, and lead to him eating some thunderous shots from Goltsov that stop this fight shortly after it gets started.

Which fight is the sleeper match-up on this card?
The final preliminary fight between Taila Santos and Jena Bishop. This is going to be a real test for the undefeated Bishop. Going against Santos, who has fought some of the best fighters on the planet including Valentina Shevchenko and Erin Blanchfield, will go a long way towards proving whether or not Bishop is the real deal. She has looked great over her first seven professional fights but she is yet to fight anyone truly elite. This should be her toughest test to date and if she gets past Santos and looks good doing it eyes will be opened across the MMA world and we might have a new legitimate star in the making with Jena Bishop.

Fight Pick
Main Card ()
HW: Valentin Moldavsky vs. Linton Vassell Moldavsky
Women’s FlyW: Dakota Ditcheva vs. Chelsea Hackett Ditcheva
HW: Denis Goltsov vs. Thiago Santos Goltsov
Women’s FlyW: Liz Carmouche vs. Kana Watanabe Watanabe
Women’s FlyW: Taila Santos vs. Jena Bishop Bishop
HW: Oleg Popov vs. Davion Franklin Popov
HW: Marcelo Golm vs. Tyrell Fortune Fortune
Women’s FlyW: Ilara Joanne vs. Shanna Young Young
HW: Danilo Marques vs. Timothy Johnson Marques
Women’s FlyW: Juliana Velasquez vs. Lisa Mauldin Velasquez
Women’s FlyW: Sumiko Inaba vs. Saray Orozco Pick