After upsetting Patricky
“Pitbull” Freire in the opening round of Bellator’s Season 6
lightweight tournament, Lloyd
Woodard didn’t hesitate to call out Michael
The Bellator lightweight champion is the only fighter with a win
over Woodard, having earned a unanimous decision against him in
April 2011. However, before Woodard can get a rematch, he has to go
through two more opponents and win the tournament.
Semifinal foe Rick Hawn
didn’t take offense when he heard Woodard set his sights on
Chandler. He is focused on spoiling Woodard’s plans, though, when
they meet Friday at Bellator 66.
“I was talking with [Woodard] when we were doing our photo shoot
back in January for Bellator, and he was all about getting back at
Chandler,” Hawn told the Sherdog Radio
Network’s “Savage Dog Show.” “He wanted to fight ‘Pitbull’
first round, and his ultimate goal was to get back at Chandler. I
understand his motivation for that, but I didn’t call out Chandler
when they asked me because I know I’m not there yet. I’ve got two
more fights to go before I can call anyone out. But he’s a crazy
guy. He’s energetic. He’s a nice kid. I like him, but I’m going to
go out there and take it to him. He’s not getting a chance to fight
Hawn advanced into the semifinals by knocking out Ricardo Tirioni.
It was an impressive win, coming in just 2:36, but he also took
note of Woodard’s performance against Freire.
“Lloyd took it to him,” Hawn said. “He just overwhelmed him, and I
think that was surprising for ‘Pitbull.’ It was good for me to see
that. Now I know what to expect.”
The tournament is Woodard’s second in Bellator. His loss to
Chandler came in the semifinals of the Season 4 lightweight field.
That same season, Hawn made it to the finals of the welterweight
tournament, where he lost a split decision to Jay Hieron. It
was Georges St.
Pierre’s trainer, Firas Zahabi, who encouraged Hawn to move
down to 155.
“When I moved up to Montreal to train at Tri-Star, Firas Zahabi,
one of the first things he said to me was he could see me at
lightweight,” Hawn explained. “I didn’t really think I could drop
that 30 pounds, but it’s worked out. Ultimately I wanted to have
the most success and use my body and to have the most effect with
it, and lightweight is where I am now because of that.”
Hawn’s off to a good start in the division, but he knows he’s in
for a challenge Friday against Woodard.
“His best asset, I think, is his tenacity,” Hawn said.
“Technically, he seems kind of wild, but that makes him dangerous.
It’s something you’ve got to watch out for. He’s aggressive. He’s
just going to come at you. … He’s a tough kid. He’s strong. He’s
athletic, and those types of guys are dangerous. I really have to
be on my toes.”
Listen to the full interview
(beginning at 1:27:16).