Rick Hawn and Jay Hieron at Bellator 43

Rick Hawn and Jay Hieron at Bellator 43

Former IFL welterweight champion Jay Hieron kept his return streak alive on Saturday night at Bellator 43 in Newkirk, Okla., moving into a title fight with Bellator champion Ben Askren.

Hieron used his experience and savvy to keep former Olympic Judoka Rick Hawn at bay for the better part of their three-round bout. While Hawn continues to sharpen his striking arsenal, Hieron used an evasive countering style against Hawn’s aggressive, pressuring tactics.

Hawn closed strong, improving as the seconds ticked away, but Hieron was sharper earlier in the fight, constantly stinging Hawn with an array of punches, knees, and kicks, as he circled away from Hawn’s power.

It was a close fight, with an exciting flurry at the final bell, but Hieron left with cage with a split decision victory and a ticket to a title shot.

“Hard work pays off, I live by that,” said Hieron, $100,000 richer as the tournament champion.

“Askren, shine up my belt for me, I’m coming for it!”

Bryan Baker at one time fell just one fight short of a Bellator middleweight title shot, but he’s on the road to recovery. Since losing in Season 2 middleweight tournament final, Baker has won back-to-back fights, the second of which was an impressive knockout victory over UFC veteran Joe Riggs on Saturday night.

The opening round was primarily a long feeling out process; although Baker landed a couple head kicks to keep Riggs on his heels.

Round two was much the same, albeit at a higher pace than the first, but it was Baker that found the button first. One left hook on the chin sent Riggs face down… fight over.

“That’s exactly what I was looking for to get in, finish, and show my greatness,” Baker said after the fight.

Former WEC bantamweight champion continued his run back towards the top of the division by submitting Jose Vega. It was obvious from the onset that Beebe was searching for the guillotine, latching it on a couple of times early in the opening round from the standing position. Slightly more than four minutes in, he locked it on for good when the fight hit the ground.

With the victory, Beebe ran his streak to four consecutive victories, and joined Eduardo Dantas in Bellator’s Season 5 bantamweight tournament.

Heavyweight bruiser Ron Sparks may have wanted to pound Vince Lucero out, but it wasn’t to be. He did batter Lucero early with some heavy punches, but put him on the mat by kicking his leg out. Spark dropped down into side control and was served up with a keylock for the tap.

Bellator 43 Main Card Results:
-Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn by Split Decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
-Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs by KO (Punch) at 3:53, R2
-Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega by Submission (Guillotine Choke) at 4:06, R1
-Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero by Submission (Keylock) at 2:18, R1

view original article >>

Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

‘Baby Slice’ Faces Jonathan Tomasian in Pro Debut at Bellator 160

  • 23 days ago
  • 15 views

“Baby Slice” Kevin Ferguson Jr.'s Bellator arrival was trending on social media for two-straight days. On Monday, Bellator confirmed his first challenge. read news >>

Bellator 160 Adds Female Flyweight Bout to Main Card

  • 22 days ago
  • 7 views

A flyweight matchup pitting Lena Ovchynnikova against Jaimelene Nievera has been added to the main card of Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull. read news >>

Swanson and his sharpened tools are ready for a new win streak

  • 21 days ago
  • 4 views

Cub Swanson has had to make some adjustments to his game since dropping two fights in a row after his six-fight win streak. On Saturday he'll look for his second straight victory at Fight Night Salt read news >>

Melvin Guillard Fined and Suspended by Kansas Commission for Banned Non-PED

  • 19 days ago
  • 38 views

Bellator fighter Melvin Guillard was suspended by the Kansas Athletic Commission on Friday for a positive drug test result for a non-performance-enhancing substance. read news >>

Chinzo Machida Makes Promotional Debut at Bellator 160

  • 16 days ago
  • 200 views

Chinzo Machida, brother of former UFC champion Lyoto Machida, will make his promotional debut at “Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull.” read news >>

Former Champ Joe Warren Faces Sirwan Kakai in Bellator 161 Co-Main Event

  • 14 days ago
  • 3 views

A bantamweight showdown pitting Joe Warren against Sirwan Kakai has been added to the main card of Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson. read news >>

Adrian Pang Looking to Extend Winning Streak at ONE: Heroes of the World

  • 14 days ago
  • 12 views

Adrian Pang will seek out his fourth win in a row when he takes on fellow veteran Eduard Folayang in a 155-pound main card bout at ONE: Heroes of the World. read news >>

Tanner Saraceno Looks to Start a Winning Streak in Valor Fights Debut

  • 13 days ago
  • 5 views

After suffering a loss in his pro debut, Tanner Saraceno will look to pick up his second straight win when he makes his Valor Fights debut on Saturday. read news >>

Bellator 161 Main Card Complete with Addition of Derek Campos vs. Djamil Chan

  • 13 days ago
  • 8 views

A lightweight bout pitting Derek Campos against knockout specialist Djamil Chan has been added to the SPIKE-televised portion of “Bellator 161: Kongo vs. Johnson." read news >>

CJ Hamilton Excited to Fight for the Valor Fights Flyweight Championship

  • 12 days ago
  • 5 views

Hamilton (8-4) will look to add to his current winning streak when he takes on Cody Gabelman in a 125-pound championship co-main event bout at Valor Fights 36. read news >>