Phil Hawes and Deron Winn were both fighting for the first time in 2022 at UFC Austin on Saturday.
The second straight middleweight bout on the the UFC Austin preliminary card (the event would see a full four fights at 185) found Winn returning from an extended layoff, having last fought at UFC Vegas 17 in December 2020.
Hawes had competed last November, only to be knocked out by Chris Curtis.
Long known as “Megatron,” Hawes had taken on the moniker “No Hype” ahead of UFC Austin. He got fans hyped up early, however, working his jab and briefly dropping Winn with an elbow. Winn returned with a right hand, then a left. Moments later, Hawes would drop Deron Winn again, with perhaps a chance to finish. But Hawes showed some pateience, letting Winn get back up — only to be lit up on the feet some more, with Hawes seemingly landing everything he threw.
A third knockdown would follow shortly after; a standing elbow when he got back up rocked Winn again. Hawes’ front kicks were helping eliminate the wrestling threat, and the elbows would make Paul Felder proud.
Between rounds, the cageside physician would check on a cut over Winn’s eye, but deemed him able to continue. Hawes then opened the round with a head kick that was at least partially blocked. As badly as Winn needed to get the fight to the ground, he could not find the opening. Instead, a right hand rocked Winn, but Winn shook it off and managed to land in response. Hawes flipped the script, landing a takedown himself, and began unloading punches. He controlled the wrists of Hawes, adding more blows before Winn finally made it back up. Winn fired a left, Hawes responded with a jab. Winn deserved some credit for both still being in the fight, and actually walking forward, putting some pressure on Winn. But Hawes battled back, slicing Winn open yet again with an elbow, and following that up with a right hand.
Not to be deterred, Winn fired back. Hawes looked for a takedown; Winn stayed up, and landed on Hawes a couple more times. Hawes then landed a couple of knees in a clinch, and added an elbow. Winn was staggered but continued to return fire, only to eat another knee. Winn ate another head kick. Another elbow. And another one! Ref Herb Dean, taking a good look, finally waved it off with Winn still on his feet — but no complaints with that stoppage, as Winn slumped to his knees immediately.
Following the fight, Hawes and UFC broadcaster/former double champ Daniel Cormier exchanged words in the octagon during the commercial break.
“You picked the wrong pony,” Hawes hollered at Cormier as the latter entered the octagon for the post-fight interview. “I don’t pick fights,” DC, a teammate of Winn, responded. “Be respectful,” he continued, adding “You didn’t beat me.” The champ could also be overheard saying he had tried not to pick the Hawes-Winn fight several times. “Look at what happened. Why would I want this fight?”
— Bakanky (@BakankyBro) June 18, 2022
While ref Herb Dean got between the pair at one point, cooler heads prevailed by the time the actual post-fight interview took place.
Official Result: Phil Hawes def. Deron Winn by TKO, Round 2, 4:25
06-19-2022: Updated with a more accurate reflection of Cormier’s interaction with Hawes following the bout.