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

Tito Ortiz Towers Over Bellator 170 Fighter Salaries | MMAWeekly.com

  • 29 days ago
  • 32 views

Tito Ortiz, already a UFC Hall of Fame member, went out on his own terms on Saturday at Bellator 170, also leading the charge on the disclosed fighter payroll. read news >>

Keith Berry and Kevin Casey discuss individual regrets from Bellator 170 draw

  • 28 days ago
  • 14 views

INGLEWOOD, Calif. – Keith Berry and Kevin Casey both felt they deserved a victory at Bellator 170. Instead, they left the cage with the dissatisfaction of a majority draw.Filed under: Bellator, Featu read news >>

Rampage Jackson and King Mo Squabble Over Rematch (video) | MMAWeekly.com

  • 28 days ago
  • 49 views

After Bellator announced that Quinton "Rampage" Jackson would rematch Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal, the two held a contentious press conference. read news >>

Bellator 170 and Glory 37: Liver Kicks and Fishy Finishes | FIGHTLAND

  • 28 days ago
  • 0 views

Photo via Facebook/BellatorMMA Tito Ortiz got the fairytale victory that most were hoping BJ Penn could muster last weekend. At Bellator 170 the light heavyweight legend turned back the clock to manh read news >>

Bellator 173 adds Gallagher-Medvedovsky, Kavanagh-Razafiarison and BAMMA 28 bouts

  • 27 days ago
  • 4 views

The fight card is taking shape for Bellator 173, which is a co-promotion with the BAMMA 28 card.Filed under: Bellator, News read news >>

Bellator and BAMMA Join Forces Again for Belfast Doubleheader | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 3 views

Bellator and BAMMA combine forces once more to bring Belfast a show of Titanic proportions. read news >>

Video: 'King Mo' roasted an amused 'Rampage' prior to their rematch at Bellator 175

  • 27 days ago
  • 29 views

Quinton Jackson is usually the one dishing out insults in hopes of getting a laugh. At the recent Bellator 175 kickoff press conference, though, Muhammad Lawal essentially made it a roast of his upco read news >>

Tito Ortiz's Final Fight was Third Most-Watched Event in Bellator History | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 6 views

Tito Ortiz's final fight accounted for the third-most watched event in Bellator history. read news >>

David Rickels Says He's Better Than Bellator 171 Opponent in 'a Lot of Places' | MMAWeekly.com

  • 27 days ago
  • 5 views

David Rickels (17-4) will look to make things right for himself when he takes on Aaron Derrow (14-8) in a main card 155-pound bout at Bellator 171 on Friday. read news >>

AJ McKee Looking to Pick Brandon Phillips Apart at Bellator 171 | MMAWeekly.com

  • 26 days ago
  • 7 views

AJ McKee (6-0) will seek to keep his winning ways going when he takes on Brandon Phillips (6-2) in a main card 145-pound bout at Bellator 171 on Friday. read news >>