The rise of Philipe Lins in the Professional Fighters League heavyweight tournament was a surprise to some. Before his PFL stint, Lins had previously been released by Bellator MMA after going 3-3 and coming off two straight losses. Making his victory even more remarkable is that “Monstro” isn’t even a natural heavyweight, and that the tournament was filled with Ultimate Fighting Championship veterans.
True enough, Lins faced two UFC fighters during the PFL tournament. He stopped both Jared Rosholt and Josh Copeland. In the quarterfinals, he submitted Caio Alencar in only 58 seconds. “Monstro” captured the tournament with the inaugural PFL heavyweight belt and $1 million in prize money. Learn more about the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt, who trains at Kimura Nova Uniao, by taking a closer look at the number.
3: Stoppage victories to start his professional career. Lins built a solid reputation early on with two knockouts and one submission.
58: Month break from MMA competition. After his unanimous decision win over Antonio Mendes on Sept. 6, 2006, Lins didn't return to fighting until July 9, 2011, when he knocked out Daniel Alexandre Freitas Bonfim.
7: Years in Brazil before getting signed by Bellator. His U.S. debut got everyone looking his way as he demolished Travis Clark. Lins needed only 40 seconds to submit him via rear-naked choke.
6: Fights in Bellator. Lins took part in the promotion's 2014 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament, where he defeated Austen Heidlage. In the semifinals, he lost by TKO to Kelly Anundson following a knee injury. After six bouts, he was released by the promotion.
5: First-round finishes. He accomplished the feat twice in Brazilian regional promotions. Since then, he’s finished his foes early twice in Bellator and once in PFL.
3: Countries in which he has fought in. Apart from Brazil and the United States, he also competed in Italy, where Bellator 168 was held. “Monstro” was TKO'd by Kleber Silva in only the second loss of his career.
3: Losses by knockout. Lins is a tough fighter but has succumbed to some solid strikes three times in his professional career. Aside from his defeats to Anundson and Silva, he was knocked out by Vadim Nemkov at Bellator 182.
4: Former UFC fighters fought. These include Jared Rosholt, Josh Copeland, Alex Nicholson and Antonio Mendes (twice). Another one of his former opponents, Anundson, competed in an elimination match on “The Ultimate Fighter” Season 19.
8: Wins via knockout. During his stint in Brazil, Lins has notched four victories by TKO. His victims in Bellator and PFL include Nicholson, Rosholt, Copeland and Guilherme Viana.
4: Wins by submission. Apart from his triangle choke of Anderson Cruz in Brazil, he submitted Clark at Bellator 116, Heidlage at Bellator 121 and Alencar at PFL 8.