Rob Wilkinson has trouble finding opponents at the best of times. Throw in COVID-19 restrictions and the border closures that with it, makes it nearly impossible for the former UFC fighter to find match-ups.
To stay active, the 29-year-old stepped into the boxing ring on Saturday night in Hobart, Tasmania to make his professional boxing debut against the more experienced Jayden Joseph.
Wilkinson secured a knockdown in the fifth round before swarming Joseph with punches to get the stoppage and claim the Tasmanian heavyweight boxing title.
On the back of 11 straight wins, Wilkinson made his UFC debut in 2017 on short notice, where he lost to Siyar Bahadurzada. It didn’t get easier for him in his next outing when he was matched up against the current middleweight champion Israel Adesanya. After two tough losses, Wilkinson was sent back to the local scene.
Having moved up to light-heavyweight, Wilkinson took out Dylan Andrews, and in his last MMA outing back in April, he stopped Brazilian Daniel Almeida to take his record MMA record to 13-2. Wilkinson is eager to earn his way back to a contract with an international organisation and with borders opening up slowly, hopefully, he gets to prove himself against some worthy opponents.
The boxing event was headlined by a women’s featherweight Australasian title bout with Rebecca Hawker moving her record to 4-0 with a 6th round stoppage over Krystina Jacobs.