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By Matt ten-Hoeve on 4/8/2024 6:48 PM

PFL 1 2024: Delija vs. Moldavsky Takeaways and Thoughts

April 7, 2024

PFL kicked off their 2024 season on Thursday. It featured the first fights of the season between the Heavyweights and Women’s Flyweights. Let’s take a look at the results…

Main Card

Valentin Moldavsky def. Ante Delija via TKO (knees and punches) — 2:17, Round 1.

Denis Goltsov def. Linton Vassell via TKO (punches) — 3:11, Round 3.

Liz Carmouche def. Juliana Velasquez via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Dakota Ditcheva def. Lisa Mauldin via TKO (kicks and punches) — 3:54, Round 1.

Preliminary Card

Daniel James def. Marcelo Golm via TKO (punches) — 4:59, Round 1.

Sergey Bilostenniy def. Blagoy Ivanov via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Taila Santos def. Ilara Joanne via submission (rear-naked choke) — 3:57, Round 1.

Oleg Popov def. Steve Mowry via TKO (punches from crucifix) — 3:47, Round 2.

Kana Watanabe def. Shanna Young via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

Jena Bishop def. Chelsea Hackett via submission (armbar) — Round 1, 4:50

Dimitre Ivy def. Lucas Brennan via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)

Bryce Meredith def. Ty Johnson via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)

The Prelims

As tends to happen, the Prelims ended up featuring some fun fights. 

Jena Bishop showed that she still has it by getting the beautiful armbar submission over Chelsea Hackett.

Kana Watanabe put on a clinic over Shanna Young. It’ll be interesting to see if she can put in another performance like this as the season continues.

Talia Santos showcased that she has not lost a step since leaving the UFC. She will be tough this season, for sure.

Daniel James had a heck of a comeback in the featured Prelim. Marcelo Golm had James in a tough position, but James used the cage beautifully and laid in some heavy punches to get the big win.

Dakota Ditcheva

This was a great introduction to Dakota Ditcheva for those who had not watched PFL Europe. Ditcheva is a serious prospect and is now showing off her talents in the 2024 season. She made quick work of Lisa Mauldin, who can be very tough. Ditcheva made great use of her length and power and showed why she is getting closer and closer to being the real deal. This season is set up for her to have a heck of a coming out party.

Liz Carmouche

When will I learn to not doubt Liz Carmouche? I know she had beaten Juliana Velasquez twice already, but I thought the third time might be the charm for Velasquez. I was very wrong! Liz Carmouche came out ready to fight and immediately overwhelmed Velasquez, pushing the pace beautifully and deservedly taking every round. I’m sure Juliana Velasquez is not asking me, but I’m going to advise her to try and avoid Liz Carmouche at every cost, as her only three losses in her career are to Liz (all of which are her last three fights). Liz got to prove that she is still a force at 40 years of age and will continue to be a problem for others in the Flyweight Division. Juliana has a chance to get back on track this season still. Luckily, it will be against someone other than Liz Carmouche.

Denis Goltsov 

Golstov continues to be one of the faces in PFL’s Heavyweight Division. He not only was trying to get points in the standings, but was also playing a bit of a “gatekeeper” against Linton Vassell, who spent a lot of time in Bellator until the merge. Golstov got a very nice win in the third round and showcased why he continues to be dangerous in these seasons.

Valentin Moldavsky

Some people were surprised that Moldavsky closed as the betting favorite for this fight against Ante Delija. I thought Delija was going to be able to pull off the “upset.” For a moment, it looked like he would. However, something happened in the first round that made Delija take his eyes off of his opponent as he tried to communicate with his corner. Moldavsky took full advantage of that and got the TKO. Moldavsky will get a chance to get a much cleaner win the next time out, but for now - he was able to benefit from Delija’s issues to get some big time points in the standings.

Overall, this was a fun night of fights. It was a great appetizer to a very busy sports weekend while also serving as a great jumping on point for those getting into the PFL for the first time.

With my picks, I went 3-4 in the top seven fights. I have not been doing well with my picks recently. Clearly no expert here! 

Did you watch PFL 1? If so, what did you think? Let me know at I will be back soon with my thoughts and takeaways from UFC Fight Night: Allen vs. Curtis 2. After that, we have PFL 2 and the big UFC 300 this week. I’m excited to talk about both! See you then!