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*My Prediction prior to being rescheduled*
We have an intriguing fight in the Middleweight division, as Phil ‘Megatron’ Hawes takes on Deron Winn. Since 2019, Hawes has won seven of his last eight fights. Despite losing his most recent bout to Chris Curtis, the former Ultimate Fighter 23 competitor is no longer a flameout. He’s a dangerous knockout artist who is a few wins away from nearing the division’s top fifteen. Meanwhile, Winn comes into this fight off a victory over Antonio Arroyo. Overcoming a nine inch height disadvantage, the standout wrestler used twelve takedowns en route to a decision victory. An important win too, as Winn faced a potential three-fight losing streak in the face.
This is a tough fight for Deron Winn, as the undersized Middleweight will need to find a way to break the solid takedown defense of Phil Hawes. Given that Hawes himself is a wrestler, who has an excellent base and a hulking physique, I find it hard to see Winn having much success. On the feet, it’s no contest. Winn is tough, but will need to overcome a six inch height and eight inch reach advantage. Throw in the fact that Hawes has legitimate knockout power, and I really don’t see this going all too well for the former collegiate wrestler.
As for a prediction, I obviously have Phil Hawes. The man is a legitimate tank and has the skills to make a run in this division. On the other hand, Winn is an excellent wrestler who is being held back by being undersized. I’m not sure if the thought of trying to make Welterweight is in his plans, but I don’t see how much longer the UFC keeps him around if he sticks at Middleweight. Especially if Winn is given matchups that stylistically give him little to no shot. In the end, I foresee Hawes turning aside Winn’s constant takedown attempts and eventually knocking him out on the feet.