Phil Hawes vs. Chris Curtis Set at Middleweight for UFC 268

By Tudor Leonte Oct 14, 2021

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Ultimate Fighting Championship newcomer Chris Curtis will be getting opportunity to take on Phil Hawes after all.

Officially added to the UFC 268 bill on Nov. 6 in Madison Square Garden in New York City, middleweight Hawes will lock horns with 2019 Dana White's Contender Series victor Curtis. Sources close to the situation have confirmed to Sherdog the initial report by MMA DNA on Thursday. The pairing was briefly booked at UFC Fight Night 194 after Curtis stepped up on extremely short notice, when Deron Winn withdrew from the fight. Even though “The Action Man” weighed in at 184.5 pounds, Hawes refused the unexpected opponent change, forcing the promotion to call off the bout.

Hawes (11-2) is currently riding a seven-fight win streak, including three inside the Octagon. In his latest clash, “Megatron” defeated Kyle Daukaus via unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 24. Before that, the Sanford MMA standout earned a majority decision over Nassourdine Imavov at UFC Fight Night 185, and made his debut by punching Jacob Malkoun out in 18 seconds at UFC 254 in 2020.

Professional Fighters League alum Curtis (26-8) is finally making his UFC debut. Curtis was not offered a contract despite his hook kick knockout victory of Sean Lally on the 2018 season of DWCS, and even considered retiring from the sport shortly after. He reconsidered his decision in 2019 and signed with PFL, where he ended with one victory and three defeats. The Ohio native has won in his last five outings, including four knockouts on his way back to the major leagues.

UFC 268 will go down at the Madison Square Garden in New York City. In the main event, Kamaru Usman will square off with Colby Covington in a grudge rematch for the welterweight championship. In the co-headliner, strawweight queen Rose Namajunas puts her belt on the line against former titleholder Weili Zhang.

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