Turning a spectacular, one-sided second round standing knockout win over Deron Winn at UFC Austin, middleweight strikes, Phil Hawes then landed himself in a back-and-forth verbal exchange with former two-weight UFC champion and color commentator in the Octagon — with Hawes claiming Cormier had shown bias toward Winn ahead of the matchup.

Phil Hawes, who featured on both The Ultimate Fighter 23 as well as Dana White‘s Contender Series has managed to establish a 5-1 promotional record, stopping the aforenoted, Winn tonight in hugely-dominant fashion, forcing a standing TKO victory in the second round after a slew of knockdowns and a series of slashing elbow strikes.

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However, after the victory, Hawes, who was preparing for the official result to be read out and his post-fight interview with Cormier, switched his attention to the former undisputed light heavyweight and heavyweight champion.

Setting himself in the center of the Octagon, the New Jersey native claimed Cormier “picked the wrong pony”, to which Cormier insisted that he did not “pick fights”.

With referee, Herb Dean stepping between the two as tension began to rise, Cormier claimed that Winn was discouraged from taking a fight with Hawes in the past, and insisted that the result that had just played out was why.

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Urging Hawes to act more respectfully following his victory, the New Jersey striker apologized to Cormier — who echoed that he did not “pick fights”, after Hawes alluded to a potential bias in the favor of Winn.

Phil Hawes improves to 4-1 during his UFC tenure

12-3 as a professional, Hawes has now landed UFC victories over Jacob Malkoun, Nassourdine Imavov, Kyle Daukaus, and now Winn, with his sole promotional defeat coming in the form of a knockout loss to Chris Curtis at UFC 268 back in November at Madison Square Garden.

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Aspiring mixed martial arts reporter based in Ireland. Follow along at @Ross_Markey on Twitter for all the latest news, fight announcements, opinion, and feature pieces.