Thursday, May 05, 2011
Jay Hieron and Rick Hawn Ready for Bellator Tourney Final
By FCF Staff
One of this coming weekend’s more noteworthy bouts, will be the welterweight bout between Jay Hieron (pictured) and Rick Hawn at Bellator 43 Saturday night, which will determine who will challenge Ben Askren next for his world championship. The May 7th fight, which will be broadcast live on MTV 2, will take place at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma.
Hieron (21-4) signed on to compete with Bellator earlier this year, and has scored victories over Anthony Lapsley and more recently Brent Weedman, to advance to the tourney finals. The Xtreme Couture fighter, who has now won nine straight, is extremely confident about his chances against Hawn Saturday.
“I feel like I’m just way too experienced for Rick Hawn, and I’m just a better fighter,” Hieron was quoted saying in a press release from Bellator. “I just have to go out there and do what I do every day in the gym. I’m going to bring my A-game to this fight. I’m healthy, I’m ready and I’m focused. I’m just counting down the days right now.”
“I’m not looking past anybody. I’m not looking past Rick Hawn,” Hieron added. “I train like I’m fighting for a world title every time. This is my world title fight, right now. This is my final fight in the tournament, and I’m not looking past it. It’s time for me to go out there and take it.”
While Hawn (11-0) has gone undefeated in MMA, since the former Judo Olympian transitioned into the sport, he likely will be viewed by most as the underdog heading into Saturday’s tilt. Hawn has gone 3-0 to date fighting under the Bellator banner, and earned decision wins over Jim Wallhead and former champion Lyman Good, to earn a spot in Saturday’s final.
“I’m very motivated heading into this fight with Jay Hieron,” said Hawn. “It’s just one last fight and then I’ll be able to take a little break. I’m just looking forward to getting this fight over with, getting out of there with a win, and then enjoying some time off after I earn my title shot.”
“I think Lyman [Good] was the toughest guy in the division, besides me of course. I’m not looking past Jay [Hieron] at all,” Hawn was quoted saying. “He’s a really good athlete and a really good fighter, but honestly I feel like Lyman was a tougher fight for me than Jay’s going to be.”
|Riggs punching Louis Taylor|
In another notable bout scheduled for Bellator 43, UFC veteran Joe Riggs (34-12) will take on rising middleweight, Bryan Baker (14-2).
“Bryan Baker is a really tough guy,” said Riggs, who is coming off a TKO loss to Canadian prospect Jordan Mein. “His wrestling base is really solid, his striking looks like it’s getting better, and he obviously has a ton of heart considering some of the obstacles he’s had to overcome.”
“I feel like I match up perfect with a guy like Joe Riggs,” said Baker, who also reported that the leukemia he was plagued with is in full remission. “I think I’m better than him in any area. I’m more athletic than he is. I’m just going to go out there, have some fun and showcase all of my skills. No matter what position this fight ends up in, I’m going to be confident that I’m better in that position. I’m going to be looking to finish the fight.”
posted by Full Contact Fighter @ 1:12 pm