Hawes declines late replacement; UFC bout off

MMA news

Phil Hawes had the possibility of two opponents this weekend, but neither bout will happen.

Deron Winn, Hawes’ scheduled opponent, withdrew from the fight because of an illness, which was not weight cut- or coronavirus-related, UFC announced Friday morning. In Winn’s place, UFC signed MMA veteran Chris Curtis to fight Hawes on Saturday at UFC Fight Night in Las Vegas.

However, Hawes declined to fight Curtis on a day’s notice when he was preparing for Winn, sources told ESPN. So neither Hawes vs. Winn nor Hawes vs. Curtis will happen Saturday.

UFC welterweight James Krause offered to step in and fight Curtis on short notice, ESPN’s Brett Okamoto reported Friday. Krause is already in Las Vegas to corner UFC flyweight Tim Elliott on Saturday. However, the Nevada State Athletic Commission balked at the last-minute switch.

UFC Fight Night will proceed with nine fights. The card is headlined by a women’s strawweight contender bout between Mackenzie Dern and Marina Rodriguez.

Also on Friday morning, co-main event fighter Jared Gooden missed weight by three pounds, coming in at 174 pounds for a scheduled bout against Randy Brown. According to UFC, the bout will go on, but Gooden will forfeit 20% of his fight purse to Brown.

Hawes (11-2) has won seven straight fights, three of them coming in UFC.

Curtis (26-8) will remain in UFC, according to his coach, Eric Nicksick of Xtreme Couture. Curtis, a 34-year-old who has been a pro MMA fighter since 2009, has won five in a row following a brief retirement while he was with PFL in 2019.

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