A pair of Contender Series alums faced off in the main card opener at UFC Vegas 26. Phil Hawes was looking to make it three in a row inside the octagon, while Kyle Daukaus, who had been forced to take a few fights outside the UFC after his DWCS appearance, was seeking his second straight win.
Hawes and Daukaus started scrappy right out of the gate. Daukaus had the clear height and reach advantage, and stayed on the outside, at least until Hawes finally found an opening, changed levels, and landed a clean takedown. Daukaus defended with a guillotine, but wasn’t in position for it. However, he was able to reverse, getting on top in half guard. He would end up fighting for back control as Hawes worked his way up, but “Megatron” did escape. The middleweight pair finished up the round battling it out along the fence, with Daukaus winning the positional battle.
Hawes started the second walking Daukaus down, with the pair trading in close, and Hawes just ducking a kick. He was clipped just afterward, however, and Daukaus landed a couple of additional blows. Hawes tied his opponent up, working from the back along the fence while buying time to regain his senses. Daukaus spun around, pressing Hawes’ against the cage. When they moved to range, Daukaus appeared to have the edge — but he’d slowed a step, and Hawes went to the body before landing upstairs moments later. Before things devolved into a sloppy brawl, Daukaus tied things up in another clinch up against the fence. The round would finish with Hawes on the attack, throwing some heavy shots on a retreating Daukaus.
What a combo by @KyleDaukaus 🤯
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2021
Hawes went back on the offensive to start round three, in what was arguably still anyone’s fight. Daukaus was not shy about answering back. But when Hawes grabbed on to a leg, he landed the takedown rather easily. Daukaus was eel-like off his back, but eventually, Hawes settled into guard. From there, he worked on some ground and pound, and just made Daukaus’ life miserable, with short punches, forearm pressure, and mixing it up to the body and head. Daukaus tried to scramble free, but found himself trapped, eating more damage as the ref urged him to fight back. Daukaus survived, but lost the round, not to mention the fight in the end.
Official Result: Phil Hawes def. Kyle Daukaus by unanimous decision (30-26, 30-26, 29-27)