World Series of Fighting has signed undefeated middleweight prospect Phil Hawes (3-0) to an exclusive, multi-year promotional agreement.
A product of the famed Jackson-Winklejohn camp in Albuquerque, the 6-foot, 27-year-old Hawes will make his promotional debut against Joshua “The Prince of MMA” Key (6-11, 2 NC) on the live, five-bout NBCSN telecast of WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland, at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Mashantucket, Conn. 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.
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.
WSOF31: Ivanov vs. Copeland Main Card
World Series of Fighting Heavyweight Championship Main Event:
Blagoy Ivanov (Champion) vs. Josh Copeland (Challenger)
Lightweight: Jason High vs. Mike Ricci
Welterweight: John Howard vs. Thiago Meller
Featherweight: Luis Palomino vs. Sheymon Moraes
Middleweight: Phil Hawes vs. Joshua Key
PRELIMINARY CARD (Live on WSOF.com)
Lightweight: Tom Marcellino vs. Devin Powell
Heavyweight: Juliano Coutinho vs. Justin Willis
Heavyweight: Tyler King vs. Lorenzo Hood
Welterweight: Robert Fonseca vs. Sean Lally
Lightweight: Bruce Boyington vs. Saul Almeida
Bantamweight: Rodrigo Almeida vs. Ben Pierre-Saint
Lightweight: Sam Watford vs. Christian Torres