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Rob Wilkinson victorious over Thiago Santos in the first fight of the PFL season

Australian "Razor" Rob Wilkinson defeated Thiago Santos in his first PFL game and prevailed by a unanimous decision. Both were light heavyweight competitors. At PFL 1 of the 2023 season in Las Vegas, the two squared off in the co-main event.

During the whole battle, Wilkinson's wrestling prowess was on display as the Aussie landed seven takedowns throughout all three rounds, accrued approximately five minutes of ground control time, and attempted submissions.

Wilkinson displayed his superiority in the opening frame, taking down numerous times apparently at will. In the second round, Santos maintained composure and appeared to have high performance establishing his reach, but Wilkinson continued to be managed in using his wrestling abilities to knock down the Brazilian. At the start of the third round, Santos could find his range well though, and hold off a takedown attempt from Wilkinson.

Nevertheless, Wilkinson was successful in ending the bout with his seventh and final takedown of the evening.

Wilkinson's performance received unanimous 29-28 ratings among all three judges, extending his overall professional record to 18-2 and his PFL record to 5-0.

Santos shared a collection of pictures on Twitter along with the following caption:

“At the end of the day, we have two options, give up or continue. And how can I give up on a blessing that God grants me, even with all my difficulties and limitations I’m still here, doing and living what I love. Say what you want to say but we’re still in the game.”

In the PFL 2023 season, his performance versus Santos wins him three points, moving him up to fourth position among light heavyweights. Santos, who is already 39 years old, soon will announce his retirement, but he is still hoping to get his hands on the gold strap before doing so. The former UFC title contender's future can only be determined with time, but winning the championship provides him more inspiration to keep competing.

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