It wasn’t as easy as most predicted, but John Hawk (11-5) is once again the NAAFS heavyweight champion.
The Strong Style MMA fighter picked up his third consecutive win in the process, earning a unanimous decision over a very game Curt Lemmon (4-1) in the main event at NAAFS: Caged Vengeance 16 at the Canton Civic Center on Saturday night.
The 35-year-old controlled nearly all of the fight, using dominant pressure and timely takedowns to keep Lemmon on the defensive for much of the 25-minute contest.
This is actually Hawk’s second run with the NAAFS heavyweight title, as he first earned it with a victory over Joe McCall in 2010 before deciding to vacate it to drop down to light heavyweight. He had a successful run at 205 pounds, fighting for the NAAFS title there twice and even posting a 2-1 record inside the Bellator MMA cage.
After his win, the always outspoken and popular fighter called for a shot in the UFC.
“Hey [UFC president] Dana White, I proved myself once again,” Hawk said after his win. “I’ve got one of the best heavyweight training partners in the world Stipe Miocic. Give me a shot, let me live my dream Dana.”
There is precedent, of course, for fighters winning the NAAFS heavyweight title and immediately getting a crack at the UFC, as Hawk’s teammate Miocic made the jump in 2011 and has been one of the sport’s elite heavyweights ever since.
Hawk is now 3-0 in his return to heavyweight as a bit of a rejuvenation of his career, with the three fighters his wins came over possessing a 29-10 combined record (including the three losses to Hawk).
Hawk is a bad matchup for a lot of fighters, as his granite chin and smothering pressure can put a lot of heavyweights in positions where they don’t want to be.
He also has the luxury of training with one of the best heavyweights in the world on a daily basis, which could get him a shot at the world’s biggest organization.