Friday, February 26, 2021

Phil Hawes Says He Has Too Many Ways to Win at UFC Vegas 19

Phil Hawes is on a two-fight win streak with the UFC, and he plans on keeping the momentum going on February 20 when he faces Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Fight Night 185 (UFC Vegas 19).

Hawes and Imavov were supposed to face each other in January, but the bout was rescheduled, and Hawes shared his side of what happened. It has been a long road for Hawes to get to the UFC. His overall win-streak is at five, the last two being his win from the Contender Series last year and his 18-second first-round knockout win over Jacob Malkoun at UFC 254. Could his first fight on a pay-per-view have gone better? 

“It could have been one second,” Hawes told MMANews’ James Lynch, “I could have, you know thrown a jab and you know, but I was blessed. My team prepared me for that fight, and everything went well so for the debut at 18 seconds, I’m impressed, I’m excited and blessed.”

Before getting to the UFC officially, Phil Hawes fought at Bellator and World Series of Fighting (WSOF) so it was only a matter of time before he would get his chance to show UFC fans what he is capable of. 

His match with Imavov was originally scheduled for January 16, but Hawes was sidelined due to injury. The card was the UFC’s first event on the ABC network, and it would have been nice to show the talent he was building on a platform like that, but it was better to be safe than sorry.

“I had a staph infection, and it got, like, super bad,” Hawes said. “I knew I couldn’t compete at my best and that’s someone you don’t want to not come 100 for.  So, I didn’t want to go in there, you know already coming in at 60 percent, you know what I mean? I think I could beat a lot of guys at 80, but I just want to make sure I’m 100.”

More Than Prepared

Now that he is ready to go, Hawes has made all the necessary preparations for the rescheduled bout. Including training with taller fighters like Linton Vassell and Steve Mowry since Imavov has a height advantage over him. So how does it play out?

“I’m thinking first-round finish,” said Hawes, “Man, I’m just in my zone right now, you know what I mean? I feel like everything’s in my favor, good stuff.  I have too many ways to win.”

Hard to argue with him there.

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