Rob Wilkinson Focused on Finish at PFL 2 After “Big Mistake” Last Year

Las Vegas, NV — Former PFL light heavyweight champ Rob Wilkinson returns to action at PFL 2 this Friday in Las Vegas, and admits that he made a “big mistake” last year.

That mistake didn’t come in the cage. Rather, Wilkson (17-2, 1NC) was one of a multitude of PFL fighters who failed drug tests when the league hosted a three-event stint in Las Vegas to kick off the 2023 season. It ended the Australian’s hopes of repeating as champ then and there, as he was yanked from his second bout of the season.

Unlike many athletes, Wilkinson quickly took responsibility for the doping violation, which saw him flagged for an elevated t/e (testosterone-to-epitestosterone) ratio resulting from the androgynous origin of testosterone in an in-competition test linked to his fight with Thiago Santos.

Ahead of his return at PFL 2, Wilkinson told Cageside Press that “I made a big mistake last year, and obviously I paid for that. But I’ve taken some time off, and I’ve come back and I’m excited to get back there and do what I love, which is fighting.” The plan now is for Wilkinson to “just go and get a good win, get a good knockout for everybody that stuck by with me and everybody that still supports me.”

With Phil Davis out, it’s Tom Breese stepping into the PFL 2 match-up with ex-champ Wilkinson. “A bit of a change in style, like he’s a southpaw, that’s probably the biggest one,” Wilkinson noted of the switch up. “It’s just some tactical adjustments we made. Still always focusing on what I’m going to do versus what they’re going to do.”

Wilkinson took a demotion when Davis dropped off the card, and will no longer be the main event. He’s not surprised to see 2023’s eventual light heavyweight champ, Impa Kasanganay, topping the marquee.

“I was expecting that to happen. I was excited to fight Phil Davis, just because he’s a big name and I want to fight the big hard fights. So I was disappointed he got injured, but I wasn’t surprised that Impa’s the main event when he’s the champion from last year.”

As for Breese, Wilkinson’s prediction was simple: “I will knock him out within two rounds.”

Watch our full interview with PFL 2’s Rob Wilkinson above.