MILLIONS fighter Hakeem Dawodu showed the mixed martial arts world that “Mean” Hakeem is back by putting on a highly technical striking clinic Saturday night at UFC Vegas 47.
The three round featherweight fight with Mike Trizano went the distance, but it was Dawodu leading the dance from the opening bell. Dawodu mixed up his striking right out of the gate, with jabs to the head followed by shots to the body. He tossed in high kicks, and low leg kicks, while also showing off a spinning back kick to the body. Dawodu looked like the fresher, sharper fighter, and as the rounds wore on, he appeared to be better everywhere.
While the fight stayed standing for the entire 15 minutes, Dawodu showed he isn’t scared to grapple, and repeatedly initiated the clinch and pushed Trizano up against the cage whenever Trizano landed any sort of combination. In the post-fight press conference, Dawodu said he felt comfortable after rehabbing from a herniated disc, “first fight in the UFC where I’ve just been healthy.”
Dawodu’s lead was healthy heading into the final round, having landed more than twice as many strikes as his opponent. The strategy seemed to be to hit Trizano with vicious combinations that went body-head or head-body and anytime Trizano tried to respond, Dawodu clinched, and pushed him against the cage, staying in complete control of the fight.
It went to the judge’s score cards and Dawodu earned the unanimous decision victory with each judge scoring the fight 30-27. “I just want to thank everybody in Canada that supported me. Canada we’re representing. I’m also representing Nigeria, I’m also representing Jamaica,” said Dawodu, as he celebrated the hard earned victory.
You can follow Dawodu on his UFC journey through the featherweight rankings by keeping an eye on the MILLIONS blog. And you can also use the Personal Video feature and ask him anything.