Linton Vassell Moves to Heavyweight, Takes on Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 218

Linton Vassell at Bellator 186
Linton Vassell Credit: Mike McClory/Cageside Press

Linton Vassell will look to snap a two-fight skid in his heavyweight debut at the upcoming Bellator 218 in Thackerville, OK.

Light heavyweight contender Linton Vassell will move to heavyweight for his next bout. Bellator MMA announced Tuesday that Vassell would take on Valentin Moldavsky at Bellator 218 later this month. The fight will serve as the event’s co-main event, and will air live on Paramount Network and DAZN.

Vassell (18–7 (1)) has lost two straight at light heavyweight, including a title challenge against Ryan Bader at Bellator 186. Following that, he was knocked out by former Bellator champ Phil Davis at Bellator 200. Moving to heavyweight, which recently saw Bader crowned champion there as well, is an interesting move for Vassell. There’s little call for a second fight with Bader, and it’s arguably no more shallow than the 205lb division.

Still, a change of division is often the answer to a slump. At least Vassell no doubt hopes so.

Moldavsky (7-1) is a veteran of RIZIN FF who has fought twice under the Bellator banner. He’s picked up back-to-back wins with a decision over Carl Seumanutafa, and a finish of Ernest James at Bellator 202.

Bellator 218 takes place at the WinStar World Casino in Thackerville, Oklahoma on March 22. The main event features former title challenger Emmanuel Sanchez taking on Ashleigh Grimshaw in the featherweight division. The winner could easily play a big role in Bellator’s upcoming Featherweight Grand Prix.