Jacob Malkoun vs. Phil Hawes
Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 10:00 PM (Flash Forum)
The Line: Phil Hawes -235 / Jacob Malkoun +200 -- Over/Under: 1.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
Jacob Malkoun and Phil Hawes fight Saturday in UFC 254 at the Flash Forum.
Jacob Malkoun enters this fight with a 4-0 record and has won 50 percent of his fights by knockout. This will be Malkoun’s third fight since 2019, and he’s coming off an October (2019) win over Sebastian Temesi. Malkoun will make his UFC debut in this fight, as he comes over from Evolve MMA and made his pro debut back in March of 2017. Malkoun is a striker at heart, as he comes from a boxing background, and he works well behind his jab and does a good job of mixing in combinations when do does let his hands go. Malkoun will throw in the occasional kick and two of his last three bouts were decided by knockout. Malkoun has shown decent grappling ability in a small sample size and appears to handle the clinch well, but he has a lot to prove in terms of ground work overall, especially with his wrestling. Malkoun has also seen the third round in three of his four fights, so his conditioning should be up to par. Still, Malkoun is a bit green to this stage so we’re all learning about him at the same time.
Phil Hawes enters this fight with a 8-2 record and has won 75 percent of his fights by knockout. Hawes has won his last four fights and is coming off a September win over Khadzhimurat Bestaev. Hawes is averaging 3.47 significant strikes per minute with an accuracy percentage of 46 percent. Hawes is averaging 1.74 takedowns with an accuracy percentage of 14 percent. Hawes will make his official UFC debut in this fight after two appearances in the Dana White’s Contender Series, and he impressed with a first round knockout last month. Hawes has been on quite a roll lately with four straight victories, all ending in the first round, and he has finishes in all eight of his victories. In fact, Hawes has never seen a decision through 10 career fights. Hawes is primarily a powerful striker who looks to land that one big punch and he usually wastes little time searching for it. Hawes has conditioning question marks and the fact he’s never gone a full three rounds raises those even more. Hawes has two career submission wins, one being an armbar six years ago.
Hawes is the more known fighter, but I’m not laying this sort of juice just because we’re more familiar with his work. Hawes has spent the bulk of his career beating up on subpar fighters and he does have a questionable gas tank. Instead, giving me the under 1.5 rounds. We have two power strikers who don’t waste much time and don’t see decisions. I’ll bank on this being another short fight and one of these guys getting stopped.
It beats laying big juice with Hawes, who has as much to prove as Malkoun.