PHOENIX, AZ – Pulling out of his scheduled fight with Shane Burgos at UFC 257 in January was not an easy decision, but ultimately it had to be done, even if it hurt Hakeem Dawodu’s pride.
“Yeah, I was matched up with Shane Burgos earlier, I think it was January. Unfortunately, I tore my right shoulder,” Dawodu said at UFC 263 media day on Wednesday. “I was trying to train through it, you know, because that was the first fight I had ever pulled out of in my life. It was a difficult decision and it hurt my pride a little bit but I didn’t want my first top 10 fight with a shoulder that wasn’t working, so I had to pull out.”
Dawodu had hoped to keep that bout intact, but it wasn’t to be. “I asked my manager if we could reschedule but he [Burgos] wanted to stay on schedule and I can’t blame him for that. Obviously, he was peaking and he wanted to take a fight.”
While that fight would have been amazing, and it was a fight that the Canadian was asking for, since he has fought nothing but wrestlers for the past few years, it has to happen another time.
In front of Dawodu is Movsar Evloev, another wrestler. One who believes his striking is better than Dawodu’s, which made “Mean Hakeem” scoff and crack a smile. “At the end of the day, everybody’s confident, but he’s not a better striker. He’s low power. I’m glad he thinks that. Hopefully, he comes into this fight and he wants to strike with me.”
Watch the full UFC 263 media day scrum with Hakeem Dawodu above. The event takes place this Saturday, June 12, at the Gila River Arena in Glendale, Arizona. The main card airs live on PPV.