On Saturday, October 24, 2020, the UFC returns to Abu Dhabi for UFC 254, which will feature the main event of Khabib Nurmagomedov vs Justin Gaethje for the UFC lightweight title. The card is packed with exciting matchups including a figher making his debut in the organization on the main card. Meet Phil Hawes. With a plethora of experience under big lights outside of the Octagon, Hawes is ready for his moment to shine.
Road to the UFC
Hawes began his career in 2014 where he earned three straight victories. He actually earned a chance to potentially enter the TUF house but lost his bout to enter the house for TUF season 23 against Andrew Sanchez. Hawes took the experience and entered the World Series of Fighting for a few bouts for his first big exposure to big-time MMA. After that last WSOF bout in July 2016, Hawes competed on the Contender Series in August 2017. “Megatron” was defeated and has not lost since.
Bellator MMA was Hawes’s next taste of the big lights. His dangerous striking led to a cut over Michael Wilcox’s eye which led to a doctor’s stoppage after the first round. Continuing his world tour, Hawes moved to Brave CF for two bouts where he scored knockouts in both bouts leading up to another shot on the contender series. Just last month in September, Hawes scored a big first-round knockout against Khadzhimurat Bestaev to earn his shot in the UFC. With just about eight weeks from his last fight, how comfortable is Hawes with the turnaround? “I enjoy the quick turnaround. I like to compete so if I can do that as much as possible I’m happy,” Hawes told MyMMANews.
The Makeup to be a UFC Star
A major component of early success in the UFC is experience. Phil Hawes comes in with a wealth of it due to the major stages he has fought on. “I think fighting in major organizations put me at a huge advantage because I’ve experienced the walk with the brightest lights,” Hawes stated. Not only has he competed on these big stages, but he’s earned big victories. All eight of his professional career victories have come by finish with six of those ending by knockout. His last four in a row have ended in the first round. When asked what fans can expect when the cage door closes Saturday, Hawes said, “My best performance ever.”