16/04/2024

Rob Wilkinson celebrates after winning the PFL Light Heavyweight belt. (Photo: @Razorrobwilkinson/Instagram).

Australia’s ‘Razor’ Rob Wilkinson (17-2) has fulfilled the dream he set out to achieve when he first signed for the Professional Fighting League (PFL), winning the Light Heavyweight belt in a dominant fashion.

In order to win the belt along with the one million dollar prize money, Wilkinson defeated Russia’s Omari Akhemedov (24-8-1) via TKO Doctor Stoppage after two rounds with the Dagestani twice being saved by the bell.

While Akhemedov opened the fight with a strong low kick it was mostly one-way traffic from then on, as Wilkinson controlled the centre of the cage and used his reach advantage to pick at the Russian.

It was evident that Wilkinson had the striking advantage, as he was able to knock Akhemedov down in the middle part of the opening round with an uppercut as the Russian level changed.

He landed another flurry in the final 30 seconds which again knocked Akhmedov down. He followed this up moments later with a flying knee to the head of Akhemedov in the final five seconds of the round which sent the Russian down again, however the bell saved him just as Wilkinson entered in for the finish.

The Tasmanian came out just as aggressive to start the second round, landing multiple combinations as he looked to finish the fight.

Clearly struggling to make anything happen on the feet, Akhemedov opted to try to take the fight to the ground, however he was unsuccessful with Wilkinson showing off his strong takedown defence by reversing the position and ending up on top.

While he was able to land some damage on the ground, Wilkinson decided to get the fight back on the feet where he had the decisive advantage.

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Again Wilkinson landed multiple strong combinations with Akhemedov showing his toughness by absorbing all the incoming blows. Throughout these exchanges a cut opened above the right eye of Akhemedov with the referee stopping the fight so the doctor could check if it was safe for him to continue.

The doctor deemed it was safe for Akhemedov to continue however Wilkinson did not relent landing more heavy blows on the Russian.

In the final 30 seconds of the second round Wilkinson tried to get the finish again, landing a frenzy of shots.

Akhemedov was able to somehow remain standing throughout most of the exchange until the final seconds when he fell to the mat but was once again saved by the bell.

With blood streaming down the face of Akhemedov the doctor again was called in to assess him between the round with him ultimately deciding that Akhemedov was not fit to continue fighting, handing Wilkinson the victory.

The striking numbers post-fight showed how dominant of a performance it was for Wilkinson who landed 99 punches compared to just 37 for Akhemedov.

With the win Wilkinson finishes his 2022 PFL run with a perfect record, winning all four fights via knockout. Post-fight Wilkinson spoke about what it meant to him to win the belt and the million-dollar prize money.

“The million dollars is awesome, but this belt is something I’ve been dreaming of and made a goal of 10 years ago,” he said.

“It was a lot of hard work behind the scenes to get here but it’s come quickly – eight months and I am a world champion baby.”

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