19/04/2024

Rob Wilkinson has defeated Bruce Souto in the second round at his PFL debut. Photo:@PFLMMA/Twitter.

Tasmanian Rob Wilkison has made a statement in his PFL debut, defeating Bruce Souto in the second round to earn five points in the league's opening round.

Australian Light Heavyweight Rob Wilkinson (14-2) has made the perfect start to life with the Professional Fighters League, defeating Bruce Souto (15-4) in the second round via KO/TKO at PFL 2022 1.

Wilkinson looked in control from the opening bell, picking at Souto’s leg before the two found themselves clinching against the fence.

While Wilkinson has spent the last few years working on improving his striking, he harked back to his grappling best. As a result, the 30 year old took Souto down twice against the fence, but both times the Brazilian was able to use the cage to help get him back to his feet.

Once the two fighters were away from the fence, Wilkinson secured his third takedown of the round, this time keeping Souto down. The Tasmanian immediately started landing strong ground and pound, carefully selecting and timing his strikes to find the chin.

As the fight entered the second, it did not take long Wilkinson to finish proceedings. The Australian quickly landed a short right uppercut as his opponent entered in, knocking him down. Souto immediately jumped back to his feet and engaged in a clinch, but was sent back to the canvas after eating two big knees.

From there Wilkinson followed up with ground and pound until the referee stepped in, stopping the fight just 46 seconds into the round. The TKO win now marks 13 of 14 professional MMA victories via stoppage for the Hybrid Training Centre product.

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In all, ‘Razor’ did not let Souto get going and was able to dictate the pace of the fight and where it would go. This was evident by the striking output of both men, with Wilkinson landing 41 of his 72 strikes compared to just 12 of his 15 for Souto.

With the win, Wilkinson earnt himself five points under the PFL’s point scoring system. A fighter is awarded three points for a win and extra points for stoppages, depending on the round they ooccur in. The second-round stoppage victory was therefore worth an extra two points.

The Hobart native now finds himself in a strong position entering his next PFL regular season match-up.

The Souto bout was part of the opening round of the PFL regular season, where all fighters in the league will have two fights. The four fighters with the most points in each division after their two bouts then enter the playoffs, where a semi-final and then final are undertaken to crown a champion.

Wilkinson’s next opponent will be determined following the conclusion of the first round of the regular season fights.

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