Australia’s “Razor” Rob Wilkinson has claimed victory in his first bout of the PFL season, earning a unanimous decision over Thiago Santos in the pair’s light heavyweight bout.
The two faced off in the co-main event in PFL 1 of the 2023 season in Las Vegas.
Wilkinson’s wrestling skills were showcased throughout the fight, with the Australian landing seven takedowns over the three rounds and accumulating nearly five minutes of grounded control time, as well as attempting submissions.
Wilkinson showed dominance in the first round, where he landed multiple takedowns seemingly at will. While Santos kept composed and seemed to have more success finding his range in the second round, Wilkinson was again able to use his grappling skills to takedown the Brazilian. Santos was able to find his range effectively in the early moments of the third round, as well as defend a takedown attempt from Wilkinson, however Wilkinson was able to land his seventh and final takedown of the night to close out the fight.
This performance earned Wilkinson unanimous 29-28 scorecards from all three judges, and extends his professional record to 18-2, and his record in the PFL to 5-0.
Pre-fight, Wilkinson said his goal for the 2023 PFL season is to ‘make people scared to fight me anywhere.’
‘[to mix] my wrestling and my striking a bit more, I want to be a well-rounded fighter. Last season I mainly used my striking.’
Wilkinson is the 2022 PFL light heavyweight champion, finishing every fight of the season with a stoppage and defeating Omari Akhmedov in the 2022 championships via doctors stoppage to win the title and $1 million dollars USD.
His performance against Santos earns him three points in the PFL 2023 season, and places him fourth of the 2023 light heavyweight leader board.