PFL heavyweight Lins injured, out for ’19 season


PFL is down another defending champion.

Philipe Lins, the promotion’s heavyweight champion last year, is injured and out of the PFL 2019 season, it was announced Monday. Replacing him will be Zeke Tuinei-Wily.

Lins (14-3) defeated Josh Copeland by fourth-round TKO last New Year’s Eve to win the PFL 2018 heavyweight crown and the $1 million prize money. The Brazil native won all four of his PFL fights during the 2018 season, including victories over notable names Alex Nicholson and Jared Rosholt.

Lins, 33, is the second defending champ to fall out of the PFL’s 2019 season this month after Louis Taylor, who won last year at middleweight, was not cleared by the New York State Athletic Commission.

Tuinei-Wily (3-1) will debut at PFL 3 against former Olympic judo gold medalist Satoshi Ishii in Uniondale, New York, a card that will air on ESPN+. Tuinei-Wily, a 6-foot-5, 31-year-old former Division I football player from the University of Utah, has won all his fights inside the distance on the regional circuit.

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