Awad slips on the first kick he throws, but Rickels patiently lets him take his feet before slipping two low kicks in. Awad tries to aggressively throw combos on Rickels, but the “Caveman” covers up well and returns fire. Rickels sticks his jab out and continues to sweep low with his kicks to stop the advancing Awad. Awad comes back with outside low kicks of his own, chopping into Rickels in return. Awad chases Rickels back to the fence again and explodes into the clinch, ragdolling the former welterweight to the mat. Awad pushes Rickels across the canvas to the fence, which Rickels shrewdly uses to stand back up. Rickels exposes his back and Awad clings to a rear waistlock. The Californian lifts Rickels up from the waistlock and dumps him on the mat again. Rickels tries to upkick, but Awad lands more clean hammerfists before settling back into his guard. Awad stands again, securing a front headlock as Rickels tries to roll forward. Rickels escapes before the bell.
Jordan Breen scores the round 10-9 Awad
Tristen Critchfield scores the round 10-9 Awad
Mike Whitman scores the round 10-9 Awad
Awad catches Rickels' first kick, nearly putting him on the mat. Rickels wriggles free but Awad stays glued to him, driving him into the cage and dumping him on the mat. The Derby, Kan., fighter gets back to his feet and yanks Awad to the canvas from the waistlock this time. Rickels sets up shop in half guard, landing short elbows. Awad is able to sweep Rickels and roll through, taking top position and winding up in Rickels' full guard. The Millenia MMA fighter cracks Rickels with solid lefts while Rickels looks for an armbar. Rickels continues trying to climb the ladder and look for submissions, but Awad powers out. Awad reaffirms his top position, grinding with short elbows on Rickels, who is trying to shrimp his way back to the fence. Awad stands briefly but dives into Rickels' half guard before the bottom man can hop back to his feet. More lefts for Awad land but Rickels shimmies up the cage with just under 30 seconds to go. Rickels just misses a left elbow, but glances with a left cross along the fence. Rickels rips back with two more left hooks that stagger Awad along the cage. Rickels then lands a right cross just a second before the bell that drops Awad to his face. The bell ends the round, but Awad remains down on the mat. Despite time seemingly having expired, referee Troy Waugh calls the bout and awards it to David Rickels via knockout.