After failing to make The Ultimate Fighter last year as well as dropping a fight to Jesse Taylor, #35 prospect Phil Hawes needs a big performance on Saturday’s WSOF 35.
Hawes will be fight 2-0 Elijah Wynter. He absolutely cannot suffer a setback here, it’s put-up or shut-up time for the New Jersey native.
Hawes made a name for himself several years ago when he traveled to New Mexico to train at Jackson-Winklejohn’s camp.
He impressed almost everyone there including the likes of Donald Cerrone and Jon Jones. Fans and expert began to hail him as the next big thing and the UFC picked him up to compete on the Ultimate Fighter.
Unfortunately things haven’t gone well for Hawes since. He lost his entry fight into the Ultimate Fighter to eventual winner Andrew Sanchez, and then dropped a submission loss to Louis Taylor last year.
The WSOF had hoped that putting Hawes in against a veteran like Taylor would immediately boost him into the title picture, but after a poor takedown attempt Taylor wrapped up a guillotine and finished him in the second round.
Now it’s back to scratch for Hawes who will take on a relative unknown in Eljiah Wynter.
Instead of throwing Hawes in against veterans, it appears as if WSOF is going to go with the slow approach and have him fight newcomers as he only has five professional fights himself.
Hopefully Hawes showcases himself to his full potential here and see if he shakes off that “gym warrior” moniker some have attached to his name.
Hawes is a real athletic Middleweight with a scary physique. Thus far in his short career he has showcased very powerful wrestling skills. He’s been very good at timing his takedowns although he was caught in a submission in his last fight.
From a technical standpoint, his striking isn’t there yet but it’s getting there. He actually has shown a decent jab and unsurprisingly has really good power. Under the tutelage of Jackson-Winklejohn Boxing coach Brandon Gibson that’s only something that will get better.
We’ll see if he has learned from his last fight here. As stated several times, he has no room for a setback.
#35: Phil Hawes:
Record: 4-1 | KO: 3 | SUB: 2
Height: 6’0 | Weight: 185 | Reach: 76″
Notable Wins: N/A
Notable Losses: Louis Taylor, Andrew Sanchez (amateur)