Phil Hawes aiming for the top after earning UFC contract: ‘I came to this sport to be a champion’

LAS VEGAS – With Phil Hawes finally living up to his potential, his goal is to only keep moving forward.

The highly touted prospect fell short on two attempts, once on “The Ultimate Fighter” and once on Dana White’s Contender Series 4 back in 2017. But the third time proved to be the charm as he earned the most spectacular win of the night at Dana White’s Contender Series 32.

Hawes (8-2) impressed with a stunning 78-second TKO of Khadzhi Bestaev (10-4) Tuesday night to earn a UFC contract after registering a brutal finish at the UFC Apex.

“It’s awesome to get a contract, but I don’t want to get too excited,” Hawes told reporters, including MMA Junkie, after his win. “I came to this sport to be a world champion and that’s what I’m looking to do.”

While he finally realized his dream of reaching the UFC, Hawes doesn’t want to get complacent. Currently riding a four-fight winning streak, he came through the matchup relatively unscathed and said that he’s ready for a quick turnaround as he looks to continue his evolution in the sport.

“(I’d like to fight) As soon as possible,” Hawes said. “The one thing I wanna do is I wanna make sure I’m getting better in my time off, whatever it is. It could be three, four weeks, I just want to make sure I’m better than what you saw tonight.”

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