Linton Vassell might get over playoff miss if PFL booked him vs. Ryan Bader

UNCASVILLE, Conn. – It’s not often an upset win in a nationally televised main event is bittersweet, but that’s what it likely felt like for Linton Vassell this past Thursday.

Vassell (24-9) outworked Valentin Moldavsky (13-4) in the PFL’s heavyweight headliner for a decision win and 3 points. But because he lost his first fight of the regular season, Vassell fell short of the four-man playoffs – where $1 million is up for grabs.

But Vassell said he’ll stay ready – just in case one of the fighters who did make the postseason cut winds up out come August. Stranger things have happened, particularly at heavyweight, is his theory.

And the icing on the cake was his win over Moldavsky was the rubber match in their trilogy, and he owns a pair of wins.

“We all know what happens. Heavyweights are pulling out left, right and center, aren’t they?” Vassell told MMA Junkie and other reporters after the fight at Mohegan Sun Arena. “I’m gutted that I’m not through (to the playoffs), but I’m more happy that I got the win. I finished the trilogy, so we’ll see what happens in the next couple of weeks, I guess.

“I’m going to sit back, obviously enjoy my win for a little bit. I’ll go back to training. I’ve got some friends that are fighting. Muhammad Usman is fighting soon, so I’ll go back and help him. I’ve got Emiliano Sordio fighting as well. So I help my teammates out and maybe get a call from PFL. You know, we’ll see. Maybe get a superfight or something. But I’ll go back and lick my wounds for a bit and then go back to training.”

Vassell thinks if he can’t find his way into the playoffs through the back door in a fluke, the kind of “superfight” he’s thinking could be against Bellator heavyweight champ Ryan Bader, who beat Vassell in a 2017 title fight – but at light heavyweight.

“If I’m not in the tournament, then maybe Ryan comes over to PFL – could do a superfight or something like that,” Vassell said.

Check out Vassell’s full post-fight interview in the video above.

For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for PFL 2024, Week 4.

Story originally appeared on MMA Junkie