Phillip Hawes over no “Performance of the Night” bonus, eyes bigger aspirations

Phillip Hawes’ 18-second knockout over Jakob Malkoun fell short of a “Performance of the Night” bonus at UFC 254 this past October.

Living in the Jersey City and Hoboken area of New Jersey, the 31-year-old is hoping to live a lavish lifestyle. An extra $50,000 would be helpful.

On a night where Khabib Nurmagomedov announced his retirement after submitting Justin Gaetheje in round two, Hawes’ name was left out of the bonuses. Hawes was disappointed, but sees the bigger picture now. 

“Come on, I was hurting, I was hurting, it’s cool, I don’t need a house,” Hawes said jokingly.

“I didn’t come in the game for 50 G’s, I came here for millions and to be the best in the world. I just got to keep doing what I’m doing, knocking them out.”

Phillip Hawes is still learning

No one on the pay-per-view card had a shorter night than Hawes. It is another highlight-reel win in an eventful 2020 for the New Jersey native. 

“Megatron” is already up to three victories this year, a part of five-straight first-round TKO finishes. After falling short of a UFC contract on “The Ultimate Fighter” season 23 in 2016 and Dana White’s Contender Series in 2017, Hawes made another appearance on DWCS this past September.

Hawes finally earned a UFC contract after knocking out Khadzhimurat Bestaev less than two minutes into round one. 

Hawes’ UFC debut came on a big spot, joining the main card of a pay-per-view event on “Fight Island.” Earning a finish over Malkoun only made the process more satisfying. 

“You win, you lose, but you just learn, you get better and you keep doing it,” Hawes said. “Learning that there is a difference between ‘Megatron,’ the athlete and Phil, who I am right now….The results is going to take care of itself, we just have to focus on the process.”

Expecting to win

The same right hook that earned Hawes a UFC contract was the beginning of the end for Malkoun. Hawes rocked the Australian with the right hand and followed up with a flurry of strikes before referee Jason Herzog stepped in.

His emphasis on the feet stemmed from his most recent defeat. Hawes suffered a second-round head-kick knockout to current UFC middleweight Julian Marquez on DWCS in 2017.

Since then, Hawes has improved his standup, especially his right hook. 

“I expected to win because I put in so much time and work, but the 18-second knockout, I wasn’t expecting that,” Hawes said. “I’ve been working on my hook a lot and I felt like that was going to be the punch that put him out and that’s exactly what happened.”


Living by a code

The highlight-reel win and lack of bonus is all in the past according to Hawes. Hawes has higher aspirations than an extra $50,000. 

Hawes plans include cracking the top 15 of the middleweight division and capturing UFC gold. Just one fight into his octagon career, Hawes is well aware he has a ways to go.

He is not trying to waste any time getting there though. Hawes is eying one more fight before the end of the year, specifically one of the three scheduled UFC cards in December.

Since Hawes is already spoiled by his promotional debut on a main card of a pay-per-view event, UFC 256 is one of the options. Hawes came a long way to get to the UFC and now that he is here, making the most of it is a priority.

“We worked so hard to get where we are right now, so it’s just right back to the grind,” Hawes said. “I live by a code, it’s  called ‘Rest at the end, not in the middle,’so we’re just going to keep it going.”

Phillip Hawes spoke to MyMMANews about earning a 18-second knockout in his UFC debut. See the full interview in the video above.

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Connor Northrup
Connor Northrup once covered municipal meetings and promised himself never again. He is now combining his passion for Mixed Martial Arts and reporting all into one.