One thing is for sure about the new PFL season: It won’t end with a back-to-back heavyweight champion.
Philipe Lins, the 2018 champ at 265 pounds, has withdrawn from the 2019 campaign because of an unspecified injury, the promotion announced Monday.
Taking his place will be Zeke Tuinei-Wily, who meets veteran Satoshi Ishii in the first slate of regular-season heavyweight matchups on June 6 in Uniondale, N.Y.
Tuinei-Willy (3-1) played football at the University of Utah before going into pro MMA. His most noteworthy win is a disqualification victory over former “Ultimate Fighter” competitor Darrill Schoonover in 2015.
Lins (14-4), a Rio de Janeiro native who competed in Bellator before jumping over to the PFL, won all four of his bouts during the 2018 season via finish, including a fourth-round TKO of Josh Copeland in the finals on Dec. 31 in New York to claim the season title and $1 million prize.
For more on the upcoming schedule, check out the Rumors section of the site.
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Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie
Read the full article here: Defending PFL heavyweight champ Philipe Lins out for season; Zeke Tuinei-Wily in