It has been a longer road than expected, but Hawes finally looks
ready to make an impact in the UFC. Hawes may have been the
consensus top prospect in the world a few years ago, but attempts
to get into the UFC always went poorly for “Megatron,” as Andrew
Sanchez turned him back in a fight to get into “The Ultimate
Fighter 23” house and he was knocked out by Julian
Marquez on Dana White’s Contender Series a year later. After
racking up some quick wins, Hawes got another shot on DWCS and
finally cashed his UFC ticket with a knockout. After another swift
knockout in his UFC debut, Hawes’ next test comes against Imavov.
Born in Dagestan and fighting out of France, Imavov certainly lives
up to his “Russian Sniper” nickname, as he looks to stay at a
distance and pick apart his opponents. His last pre-UFC win against
Meunier and his UFC debut against Jordan
Williams were solid proof-of-concept fights, but Imavov also is
not quite as defensively slick as he thinks; he is hittable.
Whether or not Hawes has the cardio to go more than one hard round
remains a question, but he also has the level of speed and power he
needs to shock Imavov before that becomes a factor. The pick is
Hawes via first-round knockout.