Embed from Getty Images
Originally, this fight almost came to fruition at UFC Fight Night: Dern vs. Rodriguez. Phil Hawes had been scheduled to fight Deron Winn, but Winn withdrew and Chris Curtis offered up his services. Hawes declined due to the short notice nature of the fight, but accepted a future date with Curtis. While I believe that Curtis is a good addition to the roster, I don’t see this fight going well for him. Not only is Hawes a big Middleweight, but he has legitimate skills. With excellent takedown defense, wrestling and power on the feet, it’s only a matter of time before Hawes is in some high profile fights. Now, Curtis is a solid striker with power. However, he’s a Welterweight who has had takedown defense issues. In other words, the wrong ingredients to have heading into a fight with Hawes.
As for a prediction, obviously I have Hawes. The man is a legitimate tank and has the skills to make a run in this division. Unless Curtis comes out of the gate and tries to stun Hawes, he should expect to be fighting off his back the entire fight. The combination of Hawes’ strength, wrestling and sheer size is going to overwhelm the Action man. In the end, I foresee Hawes getting the TKO stoppage victory due to ground-and-pound.