The fight may have started standing, but it never stayed there long as Askren’s takedowns were unstoppable and the champion used multiple submission attempts and ground and pound to earn a clear unanimous decision.
In a other action, Jay Hieron and Brent Weedman battled for the remaining spot in Bellator’s welterweight tournament final against Rick Hawn. Hieron recovered from an early knockdown and managed to escape with a narrow split decision win.
The fight came down to the judges view as neither fighter truly did enough to win the rounds decisively. Hieron will now face the former US Olympic Judoka Hawn in the final for the next shot at Askren and his title.
In the opening fight, Michael Chandler and Lloyd Woodard put their undefeated records on the line in a lightweight semifinal. Chandler gained the upper hand with dominant wrestling, powerful takedowns and boxing set-ups , but Woodard was a game opponent, including a near-finish with strikes in the second after giving up on a rear naked choke. Chandler was saved by the bell and recovered by grinding out the third round with powerful slams on a clearly exhausted Woodard. Chandler will face Patricky “Pitbull” Freire in the 155-pound final, with the winner facing Bellator lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez.
The official Bellator 40 results were:
- Champ Ben Askren def. Nick Thompson via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27) (welterweight superfight)
- Jay Hieron def. Brent Weedman via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (welterweight semifinal)
- Michael Chandler def. Lloyd Woodard via unanimous (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) (lightweight semifinal)
- Michael Osborn def. Cody Carrillo via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 1:27
- Tyler Stinson def. Nathan James via split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
- Eric Prindle def. Josh Burns via TKO (doctor’s stoppage) – Round 2, 5:00
- David Rickels def. Dylan Smith via submission (triangle choke) – Round 1, 3:32