PFL Light Heavyweight Champ Rob Wilkinson Out of Season Following Failed Drug Test

Rob Wilkinson PFL
Rob Wilkinson, PFL 4 2022 ceremonial weigh-in Credit: Alex Behunin/Cageside Press

The Professional Fighters League’s doping woes continue this week, as 2022 PFL light heavyweight champion Rob Wilkinson is the latest fighter to test positive for banned substances.

Wilkinson tested positive for an unspecified substance following a drug test administered by the Nevada State Athletic Commission, per multiple reports. MMA Mania’s Alex Behunin was first to report the news.

The NSAC oversaw this year’s PFL 1 through 3 cards, which took place at The Theater at Virgin Hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Wilkinson, 31, defeated Thiago Santos at PFL 1 in April, winning a unanimous decision. Santos also tested positive following the fight, with clomiphene, a hormone modulator that causes the body to increase testosterone production, found in his system.

Australia’s Wilkinson had been expected to face Ty Flores (who was replacing Will Fluery, who also tested positive for banned substances following the PFL’s Las Vegas stint) at PFL 4 on June 8. Wilkinson will now be replaced by Dan Spohn.

In total, 10 fighters have tested positive for banned substances following the PFL’s Las Vegas shows in April. In addition to Wilkinson, Santos, and Fluery, former PFL heavyweight champion Bruno Cappelozza, ex-UFC star Krzystof Jotko, Alejandro Flores, Daniel Torres, Cezar Ferreira, Mohammad Fakhreddine, and Rizvan Kuniev were all flagged for banned substances by the NSAC.

Cappelozza has already accepted a nine-month suspension, while Jotko has been forced to sit out six months. Other fighters have had their cases put over into June, and on serving temporary suspensions as the adjudication process plays out.

In response to this year’s doping debacle, the PFL has entered into discussions with the U.S. Anti-Doping Agency regarding USADA overseeing year-round drug testing for PFL athletes. Currently, rival UFC employs the organization to oversee their out anti-doping program.

Next up for the league is PFL 4 on June 8, 2023 at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, GA.