New York, NY — Just weeks ago, Phil Hawes was lined up for a fight with Deron Winn. But when Winn was forced out, Hawes turned down a short-notice fight with Chris Curtis, who had stepped up on just a day’s notice.
The pairing was rescheduled for this weekend’s UFC 268, and on Wednesday, Hawes gave his reasoning for turning down the fight.
“A few weeks ago I was supposed to fight Deron, but Deron, something happened, some illness. I don’t really know the specifics of what happened to him,” Hawes recalled. “Then they called me short-notice with [Chris] Curtis, like a day replacement or something like that.”
Turning down the match-up was because “I just feel like for me as an athlete, and to him as an opponent, I feel like I want to put my best performance out there in the cage,” said Hawes. “It’s easy, yeah sure, I could have went in there, just went out there, boom, takedown, but that’s not how I want to fight. I want to put on good performances. I don’t want to be one of those guys who has to run and rush a takedown. ”
“I like to analyze my opponent. I like to study them a little more,” he continued. “And I like them to sit there with two weeks, three weeks, knowing they’re going to have to fight me.” That leaves no excuses about it being their debut — and potentially adds to his opponent’s nerves, Hawes added.
Watch the full UFC 268 media day appearance from Phil Hawes above. More coverage of the event can be found below. UFC 268 takes place Saturday November 6 at Madison Square Garden in New York, NY.