16 May - 
Phil Hawes makes Bellator debut in New York against Michael Wilcox

A man long tagged as a can’t-miss prospect will give it another go in the big leagues.

Bellator officials today told MMA Junkie that Phil Hawes (4-2) will debut for the promotion at next month’s Bellator 222 event, taking on Michael Wilcox (6-3 MMA, 0-0 BMMA) in a middleweight contest.

Bellator 222 takes place June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York. Hawes vs. Wilcox takes place on the night’s prelims, which stream on MMA Junkie ahead of a main card that streams on DAZN.

A New Jersey native, Hawes has long been considered one to watch following a collegiate wrestling career at Iowa Central Community College, but he’s come up short in the moments that mattered most, including appearances on “The Ultimate Fighter 23,” and Dana White’s Contender Series. Now he returns to the national scene after 22 months away from competition.

He’ll meet Wilcox, who also makes his Bellator debut after competing exclusively under the CFFC banner to this point in his pro career. Wilcox has won five of his six career victories by stoppage, including four by submission.

With the addition to the card, Bellator 222 now includes:

MAIN CARD (DAZN, 10 p.m. ET)

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
  • Champ Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie – for welterweight title; welterweight grand prix semifinal
  • Champ Darrion Caldwell vs. Kyoji Horiguchi – for bantamweight title
  • Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
  • Adam Borics vs. Aaron Pico

PRELIMINARY CARD (MMA Junkie, 7:30 p.m. ET)

  • Ricky Bandejas vs. Patrick Mix
  • Brandon Medina vs. Brandon Polcare
  • Mike Kimbel vs. Sebastian Ruiz
  • Heather Hardy vs. Taylor Turner
  • Haim Gozali vs. Gustavo Wurlitzer
  • Phil Hawes vs. Michael Wilcox

For more on Bellator 222, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.