After coming so close to earning PFL gold last season, falling short in the championship matchup, Denis Goltsov is so close to getting back to the postseason. The former Russian Combat Sambo world champion is 11-3 in the PFL, with 27 finishes to his name, including the fastest finish in PFL heavyweight history at 18 seconds. Goltsov enters this fight off a third-round finish of Linton Vassell in April.


Known for his brutal knockout power, Thiago Santos started her MMA career with 14 straight victories before a loss to Jon Jones. Santos made his PFL debut last season against Rob Wilkinson, a fight that Santos had originally lost before the loss was overturned to a no-contest. The striking specialist, who makes his heavyweight debut tonight, returned at the PFL vs. Bellator champions card in February, dropping a decision to Yoel Romero.


Goltsov earns a playoff berth of any kind, while Santos, who steps in on late notice in place of Sergey Bilostenniy, needs a finish to have any chance of making the playoffs.



Round 1


A low kick from Santos to start. Round kick to the body by Santos. Another one lands. Santos got caught with a check hook and is knocked down. Goltsov jumps down into Santos’s guard. Right hand from Goltsov. Body-head combo by Goltsov. Goltsov working for an arm-triangle choke. Goltsov gets into full mount while having a hold on Santos. Santos gets to his feet, but Goltsov brings him down in a mat return. Goltsov trying to work Santos over with heavy pressure. The ground-and-pound is too much! Denis Goltsov gets the finish halfway through round one!



Denis Goltsov makes the PFL playoffs yet again! Can this be the start of him finally securing the PFL heavyweight title?





Denis Goltsov defeats Thiago Santos by 1st round TKO (2:22) in the PFL Heavyweight Division.

  • Goltsov clinches his 5th career playoff spot
  • Goltsov moves his career record to 34-8 with his 17th career knockout
  • That result eliminates Daniel James
  • The last heavyweight playoff spot comes down to Tim Johnson or Linton Vassell