Hawes, showed no nerves whatsoever as he set about the business of putting Malkoun away, and he made the breakthrough early when he stunned his man with a solid punch.
Hawes then moved in and connected with a series of punches, with each shot landing on its intended target as he blasted his way to an incredible 18-second knockout victory.
The American’s stunning debut prompted a strong of plaudits on social media as fans queued up to offer their takes on Hawes’ incredible showing.
“There is a new beast in the middleweight division, and his name is Phil Hawes,” said one fan, who continued, “One of the most impressive UFC debuts I’ve ever seen.”
Another exclaimed, “Phil Hawes just put the middleweight on notice . That was wild!!!!” while another stated, in typical all-caps incredulity, “HAWES IS A SAVAGE!”
Hawes’ display also earned him the respect of his fellow fighters.
UFC welterweight Zak Cummings tweeted, “Welcome Phil Hawes. This kid is legit,” while former UFC-fighter-turned-coach Mike Swick joked, “Damn Hawes beat my best time by 2 seconds! Impressed. I miss that feeling. I am old.”