Two Season 9 tournament crowns were doled out tonight in the Bellator MMA cage as Rick Hawn and Will Brooks picked up wins on the Bellator 109 Spike TV main card. Both fighters picked up $100,000 and 2014 title shots that come with their respected caveats. Also on the main card, Terry Etim picked up a solid victory in his Bellator MMA debut.
Hawn Recovers to Capture Season 9 Crown
Both members of the Season 9 tournament final were late replacements and both showed they deserved to be there as Ron Keslar and Rick Hawn both looked good tonight in Pennsylvania. Keslar found success early with some wild strikes that lead to an early, and improbable, takedown but Hawn would recover and survive the round. Hawn battled back by establishing his jab that helped set up a monster third round for the 2004 Olympic judoka.
Hawn would turn it on in the third round just as Keslar started to get aggressive. The judoka utilized solid striking at range to allow him toclose distance and connect on short and quick uppercuts that rocked Keslar multiple times before he was finally put down by a big overhand right. Hawn has now won two Bellator MMA tournament titles but this is his first at welterweight. Hawn will now face off with Season 8 champion Douglas Lima for the Bellator MMA crown some time in 2014.
Brooks Dominates Sarnavskiy for Season 9 Crown
Will Brooks was determined to win the Bellator MMA tournament crown after coming up short tonight and he would not be deterred by Alexander “Tiger” Sarnavskiy. Brooks found success by utilizing his wrestling to ground and pound Sarnavskiy over their three round fight. The dominant victory gives Brooks the $100K check and a shot at the lightweight title, but that could take awhile to happen since he currently sits behind former champion Michael Chandler and Season 7 champion David Jansen.