Phil Hawes shows toughness and wrestling in decision win over Kyle Daukaus

The main card of UFC on ESPN 24 opened with a matchup originally planned for the prelims. However, after strawweight star Amanda Ribas tested positive for COVID-19 just hours before the event, her fight with Angela Hill was removed from the card. Bumping Phil Hawes and Kyle Daukaus‘ scrap up to the main card.

Right from the start, Hawes pressured and aimed to land power punches. Nearly two minutes into the round, “Megatron” scored a big double leg takedown. However, Daukaus used a guillotine choke attempt to defend and reverse into top position. Eventually, Hawes got the action back to the feet, but the Philly native looked to make it a grinding fight and grappled with his opponent on the cage. Looking to tire Hawes out from defending takedowns. That is where the fight stayed for much of the last minute of the round.

Phil Hawes shows off wrestling late to secure victory

Early in the second, a wild missed head kick into a back fist combo badly hurt Hawes. Yet, the New Jersey fighter survived the wave of punches and locked in a clinch to recover. The fight became a back-and-forth battle on the feet with both scoring shots and Hawes landing a punch that seemed to wobble his opponent momentarily. Despite being hurt early in the round, Hawes seemed to take control of the momentum in the second half of the round, with effective body strikes that slowed down Daukaus.

Despite having the striking advantage late, Hawes scored a takedown 30 seconds in the round. He was able to keep Daukaus grounded for the rest of the round and worked damaging ground-and-pound that had his opponent bloody and squinting in pain. It was a workman-like effort as Hawes earned his third straight win in the Octagon after earning his contract on Dana White’s Contender Series in September. He moves his overall record to 11-2. Daukaus falls to 1-2 in the promotion after alternating losses and wins since his debut in July of 2020.

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