#DemBoutToFindOut has become somewhat of a calling card for welterweight mixed martial artist Phil Rowe across all of his social media platforms. The often-used hashtag by Rowe was brought to life last night on the biggest stage and in the most important fight of “The Fresh Prince” Phil Rowe’s career.
Last night on ESPN+ and in front of his future employer, UFC President Dana White Rowe let the world find out what he’s all about when he TKO’d Leon Shabazyan at sixteen seconds of round 3 in their main event slot at the UFC APEX on last night’s Contender Series.
The bout started out kind of slow for the Fresh Prince, he was dropped by his opponent in the 1st round and seemed to be in trouble and looked as if he may get finished in the 1st however, this young man who has never given up on anything in his life that he wanted showed his guts, heart and the intestinal fortitude needed to succeed at the highest level of mixed martial arts fighting.
In round 2 he started to find his rhythm. Mixing up his strikes and using his God-given natural talent of distance, as he is the largest welterweight when it comes to reach in any organization. He’s a welterweight with the reach of UFC light heavyweight champion Jon Jines, and he understands how to use it. Using effective striking and clinch work Rowe started to put the foot on the gas. Later in the 2nd Rowe who loves to grapple worked to get himself in top position where he really let loose with his ground and pound that Shabazyan had no answer for. Rowe finished the 2nd with ground strikes and had he had 2 or 3 more seconds to work, the fight would have ended in the 2nd.
16 seconds was all Rowe needed in the third to end the fight. Picking up right where he left off in the second with strikes, only this time in the finishing sequence Rowe showcased his boxing acumen going upstairs and downstairs with hard, accurate punches that were intended to finish the fight, which they did. Taking Rowe’s record to 8-2.
When White came to announce if any contracts were being awarded, it seemed clear that Rowe was getting in.
Dana white started discussing the fight and in his opening statement, he said that in the 1st round Rowe was hurt, and in the split-screen, you saw Rowe shaking his hand as if he didn’t agree with Dana. However, in true Dana White fashion he called bullshit on Rowe saying “don’t wave me off like you weren’t hurt you were hurt you got dropped, you stayed in the fight you showed your composure you worked your plan, you landed big strikes, leg kicks you did everything I look for come on over your in”, which elicited a big smile from Rowe, and a roar from the crowd that was there supporting him.
This Fusion X-cel student and teammate of fellow UFC fighters like Mike Perry, Jacare Souza, and Hannah Goldy is octagon ready and is looking forward to getting his first official UFC fight booked before years end.
Rowe because of his team, and his dedication to his craft may very well be the most intelligent and prepared fighter as he enters the UFC. Dean Toole, CEO of Island Fights where Rowe is a veteran, said to me last night, “Phil Rowe is the smartest fighter he knows. He has always made the best decisions for his career, not for anyone else, but for him”.
Rowe, by the way, started his professional career 0-2. Usually, when that happens, you never hear of a fighter with that opening record making it to the UFC. Again, a testament to the level of commitment and dedication inside of Rowe to beat the odds, and achieve what many said he couldn’t do.
Last night, #DemFoundOut.
Christopher James has been in the MMA industry for 15 years, Working as a ring announcer for promotions like the XFC, Island Fights, Combat Night and Fight Nights Global during his career. Chris’ love for the sport and the athletes that partake in it led him to writing and doing face to face interviews with the athletes he admired and respected. Chris isn’t conventional by any stretch of the imagination, he has his own style, and takes pride in not being a “cookie-cutter” member of the media. Unique and sometimes controversial takes are what he brings to the table, forcing folks to think a little differently about the world of MMA. He also has a love for music as he has been a dj for 25 years and his love for music gets brought to the MMA world when he gets his guests to sing on his weekly show Cage Side with Christopher James which can be seen Wednesday nights on FACEBOOK LIVE, and soon via podcast.