Bellator Fighting Championship 43

Posted: May 7, 2011 by ksteets in MMA, Sports

After a week of Bellator returns live tonight from Newkirk, Oklahoma to bring us the welterweight Tournament final between Jay Heiron and Rick Hawn. Also on the card is a bantamweight Tournament qualifier between Chase Beebe and Jose Vega, a heavyweight fight between Ron Spark and Vince Lucero and a middleweight fight between Joe Riggs and Bryan Baker.

Before we get started next week’s fight between Lyman Good and Dan Hornbuckle has been scrapped as it was announced Hornbuckle had pulled a hamstring and has had to pull out of the fight. Also this past week, Bellator has announced a few signings of additional fighters. One of the top unsigned middleweights, Vitor Vianna, has signed with Bellator and is looking to earn a shot in the upcoming middle weight tournament. Vianna is a two time world jiu-jitsu champion and is the head jiu-jitsu instructor at Wanderlei Silva’s camp in Las Vegas.

Also signed is Rene Nazure, another Brazillian jiu-jitsu black belt. He will compete in the lightweight division. Finally, Marcus Galvao, the man who took Joe Warren to the brink (I say he won) at Bellator 41 has signed on to compete in this summer’s bantamweight tournament where he’ll have a chance of meeting up with Warren again as he has also entered the tournament.

Now to tonight’s fights. First up is our heavyweight weight between Ron Sparks (6-0-0) and Vince Lucero (20-18-0). I gotta say that going into this Lucero looks like he could be Sparks father. It doesn’t look good for him. Starting off, both guys want to throw and Sparks is getting the better shots, even mixing in some solid kicks. One kick takes Lucero’s legs right out and 1:22 into the round we have Sparks on top in side control working ona key lock. Sparks works it tight and Lucero taps out at 2:18.

Next we have the bantamweight fight. Jose Vega (9-4-0) was a semi-finalist in last year’s tournamant where he lost to Ed West. He takes on former WEC bantamweight champ and Team Jackson member Chase Beebe (18-6-0). The winner of this fight will be entered into the upcoming bantamweight tournament that starts this September. Vega starts off with some good kicks and jabs. Both fighters are bouncing around feeling the other out. Before we get to the minute mark Beebe gets Vega in a standing guillotine and uses that to take him to the ground. That doesn’t last and both fighters are back up where Beebe tries for another guillotine. The fighters separate and spar for a while in the center of the cage before Beebe manages another takedown a bit before the 3 minute mark. Vega gets back to his feet and the fighters are now against the cage where Beebe goes for another guillotine and gets another takedown from it. Down on the ground Beebe still has the guillotine locked in and Vega has no choice but to tap out at 4:06 of the first round. So far the bantamweight tournament features current featherweight champ Joe Warren, Marcus Glavano, Ed West, Luis Nogueira, Eduardo Dantas and Beebe. Next week there will be another qualification match, this one featuring Bryan Goldsby and Anthony “Cheesesteak” Morrison.

We now get one of the fights from the undercard as David Rickles takes on Richard Bouphanouvong at a catchweight of 179 lbs. Rickles is starting off with some great jabs before he gets takes down. Bouphanouvong is on top but Rickles almost gets him in a triangle before loosing it. Boupanouvong remains on top and works his ground and pound against the fence. At 2:30 into the round the fighters get back to their feet. Rickles lands some shots and his opponent is dazed and on his knees before getting another left and getting knocked back. Somehow he manges to reverse the action and ends up on top of Rickles to work more ground and pound. And that’s how the round ends. Tough round to call, Rickles had the stand up most of the round was on the ground where Boupanouvong was the better fighter. 10-9 for Boupanouvong.

Round 2 starts and Rickles is again landing the good strikes with a solid left dropping Bouphanouvong about 35 seconds into the round. Bouphanouvong is down and tries to get back up when Rickles nails him in the face with a knee. The fight is now on the ground with Rickles nailing some elbows. He manages to lock in a triangle and that’s it. Bouphanouvong tries to shake him off but it’s no use and he has to tap out at 1:11 of the 2nd round.

We now get the middleweight fight between Strikeforce, WEC and UFC vet Joe Riggs (34-12) and leukemia survivor and Season 2 middleweight finalist Bryan Baker (14-2). Not much happening to start off the fight. Baker tries a few low kicks but most of the first two minutes is spent circling each other before one of Baker’s kicks finds Riggs nuts. We take a brief break. When we start back up it’s much of he same. Baker’s kick attempts are getting higher and he starts aiming at Rigg’s head. Outside of 2 flying knees and a head kick that just missed doing damage there was nothing else done int he round. Based ont he few strikes that were landed Baker gets the round 10-9.

The second round starts and both fighters are still feeling each other out. About a minute and half in things start to heat up. Baker is getting the better of the exchanges as he just seems faster than Riggs. Baker lands another flying knee and now has Riggs against the cage where he gives more knees to Riggs stomach. The fighters separate but Baker nails Riggs with a right and Riggs drops down cold. Baker just stands over him as he knows it’s done. The ref steps in and calls it a TKO at 3:53 of the 2nd round. After the fight Baker calls his girlfriend Meagan into the ring and drops down to one knee and proposes, awwwwwww. Luckily for him she says yes.

It’s now time for our welterweight final match. Judo olympian Rick “Goldie” Hawn (11-0) vs tounament favorite Jay Heiron (21-4). The winner of this fight will take on Ben Askren for the title. Both fighters jump right into the fight and are throwing strikes, Hieron is getting the early advantage. Nothing huge is happening but Hieron is getting some good kicks in and goes for a flying knee that just misses. The round ends, no knockdowns no takedowns. Heiron takes the round 10-9.

Round 2 is much of the same. Heiron getting in with quick strikes and getting out of Hawn’s range quickly. Just past the 2:30 mark Hawn does manage to get a few shots and Heiron stumbles down but is quickly back on his feet. Hawn is becoming more of an aggressor as the round goes on and may take this round. Tough call. I’ll give it to Hawn 10-9.

Nothing new in the 3rd. Hawn continues to be the aggressor as Heiron keeps circling trying to find an angle in. Heiron is starting to sport as mouse under his right eye. Giving Hawn all the credit as 3 minutes into the final round and he’s looking like the better fighter, landing solid left jabs and countering anything Heiron tries to throw at him. The round ends and Hawn looks to have taken it. 10-9 for the 3rd and 29-28 for the fight. 

Jimmy Smith agrees but of course not all of the judges do. One judge gives it to Hawn 29-28 while the other two give it to Heiron 29-28. Not sure what they were watching, bit Heiron moves on to face Ben Askren for the welterweight title.

  1. Elida Leroy says:

    Hey, I hopped over to this site from reddit. It is not an article I would typically read, but I loved your thoughts on it. Thank you for making something worth reading!

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