Dana White’s Contender Series alum Ikram Aliskerov made his promotional debut at UFC 288, taking on Phil Hawes in an early preliminary card middleweight match-up.
Aliskerov, a multi-time world champion in Sambo, entered the fight with a 13-1 record having won his last five — with four finishes in that span. Hawes, 4-2 under the UFC banner, was coming off a loss against rising 185’er Roman Dolidze.
When the fight started it was both guys feeling each other out trading kicks. Hawes did catch Aliskerov with a right hand off a body kick that appeared to bother him. Hawes was patient however and didn’t rush in. He probably should have, because Aliskerov landed a three-punch combo that rocked Hawes. Hawes was in trouble at that point and he took a one-two with the right landing on the chin, putting Hawes to sleep. An incredible UFC debut for Aliskerov, who notched a highlight reel finish.
This knockout is NASTY 🤯 #UFC288 pic.twitter.com/gfyf4fNyfS
— UFC (@ufc) May 6, 2023
Following the win, Aliskerov spoke to UFC analyst Joe Rogan for his post-fight interview, and called out one of the hottest rookies in years, Bo Nickal. “Hey Bo Nikal, I hear you want to fight with a Dagestan guy. Hey bro, I’m here.”
Nickal has a fight booked for UFC 290, but who knows what might happen between now and then. If not, there’s always the possibility of meeting further down the line.
Official Result: Ikram Aliskerov def. Phil Hawes by KO (straight right), round 1, 2:10