It has been a constant case of “so close, yet so far” for Denis Goltsov in his PFL career. This will mark Goltsov’s third time competing in the PFL Playoffs, but he fell in the semifinals during his appearances in 2019 and 2021. Goltsov was also scheduled to be the No. 1 seed during last year’s PFL Playoffs but was forced out of the tournament due to visa issues. Now, Goltsov has a fire under him with first-round finishes of Cezar Ferreira and Yorgan De Castro in this regular season, scoring him a perfect 12 standings points and locking up the top seed yet again. This time, will Goltsov finally be able to reach the PFL World Championship?
A wrestler for most of his life, Jordan Heiderman is undefeated as a pro at 7-0, with five of his wins coming via a finish. Heiderman, who also played football in college, made his first appearance with the PFL earlier this year as a fill-in during the regular season. Heiderman earned a first-round finish of Patrick Brady via doctor’s stoppage due to injury. The six points Heiderman earned in that fight was good enough to put the Skywalker Boxing 101 Academy fighter into the PFL’s Heavyweight Playoffs as the No. 4 seed.
Which of these two men will be the first to earn a spot in this year’s heavyweight title fight?
Heiderman quickly comes out. Goltsov starts working his jab. Heiderman trying to pressure and get inside. Low kick by Heiderman, and Goltsov returns. Heiderman lands a punch to the body. Goltsov lands the jab. Heiderman with another leg kick. Goltsov lands a left as the two clinch up. Goltsov gets overhooks and dumps Heiderman down, landing in side control. Goltsov moves into the half and nearly gets an Ezekiel choke! Goltsov looks to isolate the arm but Heiderman blocks and tries to transition out. Goltsov with some ground-and-pound in half-guard.
Goltsov gets out of the guard and lands a couple of nasty shots from up top, busting up Heiderman’s nose. Heiderman gets Goltsov back in the guard. Goltsov fires off some strong punches and returns to side control. A couple of more left hands from Goltsov, as Heiderman looks for a difficult-to-do kimura from bottom. Goltsov transitions and locks in an arm-triangle and gets the submission!
Denis Goltsov secures his spot in the 2023 PFL Heavyweight World Title Fight!
Denis Goltsov def. Jordan Heiderman via first-round submission (arm-triangle choke, 4:16)