Australia’s Rob Wilkinson blasted his way to the night’s first million-dollar PFL world championship title at the PFL World Championship in New York City.
Wilkinson defeated Russia’s Omari Akhmedov via second-round TKO for the light heavyweight title after the doctor stopped the fight following 10 solid minutes of relentless pressure from the Aussie that even the incredibly tough Akhmedov had no answer for.
Wilkinson could barely miss with his right hand in the opening round as he quickly gauged Akhmedov’s timing and pinged him with straight punches and uppercuts through a hugely impressive opening stanza.
Akhmedov’s attempts to take the big Australian to the mat were in vain as Wilkinson easily stuffed the Dagestani’s takedown attempts, before returning to his striking onslaught, which very nearly brought a TKO finish in the final seconds of the round after a huge knee sent Akhmedov staggering across the cage.
Akhmedov returned for the second round, but received more of the same from Wilkinson, who looked as calm, and as slick, as we’ve seen him inside the PFL SmartCage this season.
Once again, he staggered Akhmedov as he poured on the pressure against the teak-tough Russian contender, who simply would not go away.
It seemed that it would have to take something huge to stop Akhmedov, and even a nasty gash on his eyebrow – a result of a Wilkinson knee – didn’t deter him as he continued in the fight and attempt to let his own hands go.
But Wilkinson continued to push the pace, connecting almost at will with straight punches from range. Then, with Akhmedov backed up against the fence, Wilkinson unloaded a relentless barrage of punches and knees, including a huge knee that dropped Akhmedov to the canvas right as the bell sounded to end Round 2.
Akhmedov returned to his corner a bloody mess and, despite being cleaned up and returning to his feet to head into action for Round 3, the cageside doctor had other ideas. After inspecting a battered Akhmedov in his corner, he advised referee Keith Peterson to wave off the fight, giving Wilkinson a second-round TKO victory, the PFL light heavyweight championship, and a cool $1 million.