NEWARK, N.J. – Ikram Aliskerov beat Phil Hawes with a first-round knockout Saturday on the preliminary card at UFC 288 at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Take a look inside the fight with Aliskerov, who had a near flawless UFC debut for his sixth straight win.
Ikram Aliskerov vs. Phil Hawes
Result: Ikram Aliskerov def. Phil Hawes via knockout (punch) – Round 1, 2:10
Updated records: Aliskerov (14-1 MMA, 1-0 UFC), Hawes (12-5 MMA, 4-3 UFC)
Key stats: Hawes has lost three of his past four fights, all of which have been by first-round knockout.
Aliskerov on the fight's key moment
May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Phil Hawes (red gloves) fights Ikram Aliskerov (blue gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
“I didn’t expect the fight to go this way. It wasn’t what I was planning for. I wanted to, at first, kind of be with him in the fight. I wanted to try and get some points over him, and so I was trying to jab with my left, throwing out my left jab. But then he switched stance, and I didn’t expect him to switch stance. I didn’t prepare for him to fight in a different stance. So I was trying to go from the other hand. From my corner, I heard my guys yelling throw the leg, throw the kick. I didn’t have a chance to throw the kick out because the jab landed. The hand landed, and that was the end of it.”
Aliskerov on his first UFC win
May 6, 2023; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Ikram Aliskerov (blue gloves) reacts to defeating Phil Hawes (red gloves) during UFC 288 at Prudential Center. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
“I’m really happy with the win. To be honest, this is my first knockout of my professional career, and to win my debut in the UFC with such a fiery knockout, I feel great about it. I feel really happy. I mean, I feel like I’m dreaming, to be coming to the UFC for such a long time trying to get here, and then to win in such a way over such an opponent – it’s incredible.”
Aliskerov on what he wants next
Bo Nickal reacts after defeating Jamie Pickett in a UFC 285 mixed martial arts middleweight bout Saturday, March 4, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/David Becker) ORG XMIT: NVDB104
“We’ll have to wait and see what UFC decides, but I know this guy (Bo Nickal). I have nothing but respect to him, and I know he’s a great wrestler. But he said that he wants to fight a wrestler from Dagestan and he wants to show what wrestling really is. So you know what? I’m ready to be that Dagestani that he fights with and, and we’ll see whose wrestling is better.”
To hear more from Aliskerov, check out the video of the full post-fight interview above.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for UFC 288.