UFC and Strikeforce Veteran Jay Hieron edged out former US Olympian Rick Hawn to claim the Bellator Season 4 welterweight tournament. Hieron used a tactical retreat for most of the fight to force Hawn into chasing and then landed hard shots when Hawn got close. Hawn’s boxing looked much improved in the bout but for all his aggression he did not land often. Hieron landed a brief takedown off an inside trip in round two and in a fight that could have gone either way, any advantage can make the difference on the scorecards. Hieron will now face Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren for the title.
In other action, Bryan Baker picked up a second round knockout over UFC veteran Joe Riggs. In his second fight since overcoming cancer, Baker used a powerful shot to drop Riggs but showed class by not following up on the clearly finished fighter. Baker then quickly picked up another victory when he successfully proposed to his girlfriend in the post-fight interview.
Former WEC Champion Chase Beebe continued his attempt at a comeback by defeating Jose Vega by guillotine choke. Beebe attempted the guillotine multiple times in the fight before finally forcing Vega to tap. With the win, Beebe gained entrance into a loaded Bellator bantamweight tournament field that already includes Bellator featherweight champion Joe Warren, Marcos Galvao, and Ed West.
In the opening fight of the MTV2 televised card, Ron Sparks forced Vince Lucero to tap due to keylock in the first. Sparks dominated the fight from the opening bell with powerful strikes before finally putting away Lucero on the ground. Sparks improved to 7-0 with the win.
MAIN CARD RESULTS
Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28) – welterweight tourney final
Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs via knockout (punch) – Round 2, 3:53
Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 4:06
Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero via submission (keylock) – Round 1, 2:18
PRELIMINARY CARD RESULTS
George Burton vs. John Bryant- Fight occured after main event
David Rickels def. Richard Bouphanouvong via submission (triangle choke) – Round 2, 1:11
Michael Osborn def. Mike Schatz via submission (strikes) – Round 1, 1:58