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 Chandler.”
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).view original article >>
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