A battle between two middleweight prospects is the latest addition to the UFC’s first card of 2021.
Two people with knowledge of the matchup confirmed the booking to MMA Junkie but asked to remain anonymous as the promotion has yet to make an official announcement. MMA DNA was the first to report the news Thursday.
After failed stints on “The Ultimate Fighter” and “Dana White’s Contender Series,” the third time was the charm for Hawes, who was finally able to punch his ticket to the UFC when he knocked out Khadzhimurat Bestaev at Dana White’s Contender Series 32 in September. He would make his UFC debut less than two months later, dispatching of newcomer Jacob Malkoun in just 17 seconds at UFC 254.
MMA Factory Paris’ Imavov also made good on his promotional debut when he defeated Jordan Williams in a hard-fought unanimous decision at UFC on ESPN 16 in October. The Dagestani-born fighter has won his past six in a row.
With the addition, the Jan. 16 lineup includes:
- Max Holloway vs. Calvin Kattar
- Sara McMann vs. Julianna Pena
- Mike Grundy vs. Nik Lentz
- Brian Kelleher vs. Ricky Simon
- Jacob Kilburn vs. Austin Lingo
- Carlos Felipe vs. Justin Tafa
- Punahele Soriano vs. Dusko Todorovic
- Anthony Hernandez vs. Rodolfo Vieira
- Bethe Correia vs. Wu Yanan
- Christian Aguilera vs. Warlley Alves
- Omari Akhmedov vs. Tom Breese
- Ramazan Emeev vs. David Zawada
- Phil Hawes vs. Nassourdine Imavov