Middleweight prospect Phil Hawes has signed with the World Series of Fighting and will make his promotional debut at WSOF 31 next month.
Hawes, a former NJCAA national champion at Iowa Central, trains out of the Jackson-Wink gym in New Mexico. He was a contestant on The Ultimate Fighter, but did not advance to the final 16.
Below is the complete press release, along with the current lineup:
World Series of Fighting (WSOF.com) has signed undefeated middleweight (185 pounds) prospect Phil Hawes (3-0) to an exclusive, multi-year promotional agreement.
A product of the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp in Albuquerque, N.M., the 6-foot, 27-year-old Hawes who hails from Little Ferry, N.J., will make his promotional debut against Joshua “The Prince of MMA” Key (6-11, 2 NC) on the live, five-bout NBCSN telecast (9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT) of WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. on Friday, June 17.
“Phil is one of the most exciting, young prospects in the sport of MMA, so we are excited to welcome him to the World Series of Fighting family, and we look forward to seeing how his career develops under our promotion,” said World Series of Fighting President Ray Sefo.
The matchup with Key will be Hawes’ first start since 2014, his professional debut year when he ran to three straight victories, the first two by way of TKO and the third – a first round victory over Brandon Collins on October 18 – by way of armbar submission.
A 2009 junior college national wrestling champion for Iowa Central Community College, the alma mater of UFC champion and Jackson-Winklejohn teammate Jon “Bones” Jones, Hawes has been described by Jones as having “limitless” potential.
Priced from $39.99, tickets for WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland are on sale at WSOF.com and Foxwoods.com.
Doors at The Grand Theatre at Foxwoods Resort Casino will open at 5 p.m. ET, and the first preliminary card bout will begin at 6 p.m.
In the main event of the live NBCSN telecast, reigning world heavyweight champion Blagoy Ivanov (13-1) will risk his title against Josh “Cuddly Bear” Copeland (13-1).
In the lightweight (155 pounds) co-main event, superstars Jason “The Kansas City Bandit” High (19-5) and Mike “The Martian” Ricci (11-4) will square off with their division’s number one contender ranking at stake.
MAIN CARD (NBC Sports Network/9 p.m. ET)
WSOF Heavyweight Championship
Blagoy Ivanov (c) vs. Josh Copeland
Lightweight: Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
Welterweight: John Howard vs. Thiago Meller
Featherweight: Luis Palomino vs. Sheymon Moraes
Heavyweight: Chris Barnett vs. Justin Willis
Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Joshua Key
PRELIMINARY CARD (WSOF.com/6 p.m. ET)
Heavyweight: Lorenzo Hood vs. Tyler King
Heavyweight: Juliano Coutinho vs. Justin Willis
Lightweight: Tom Marcellino vs. Devin Powell
Welterweight: Robert Fonseca vs. Sean Lally
Lightweight: Saul Almeida vs. Bruce Boyington
Bantamweight: Rodrigo Almeida vs. Ben Pierre-Saint
Sam Watford vs. Christian Torres