Jay Hieron Wins Bellator Welterweight Tourney

Sunday, May 8, 2011

By FCF Staff; photo courtesy Bellator FC

Jay Hieron may have face more established MMA competitors before fighting Rick Hawn last night in Newkirk, Oklahoma, but the former Judo Olympian gave the welterweight veteran all he could handle in the finals of Bellator’s welterweight tournament. (Pictured: Hieron hitting Hawn with a right)

From the opening bell, Hawn was the aggressor, as the renowned judo practitioner stalked Hieron around the cage while the Xtreme Couture fighter looked to counter. While a backpedalling Hieron utilized kicks and punches to keep the renowned judo practitioner at a distance, by the third round, it was Hawn who was scoring more often with strikes.

After the extremely competitive affair, Hieron was awarded the tourney victory with a narrow split decision nod from the judges, entrenching a future bout between the 22-4 fighter and undefeated, Bellator Welterweight Champ, Ben Askren.

In another notable bout from the Bellator 43 card, UFC vet Joe Riggs fell to rising middleweight Bryan Baker, as the judo black belt floored Riggs in the second round with a hard left hand. As Baker stood over the fallen Riggs, appearing to evaluate whether or not the veteran fighter was in fact finished, the referee jumped in to save the stunned fighter from any further damage.

Afterwards, Baker celebrated the win by asking his girlfriend to marry him, who agreed to the thrilled fighter’s proposal live on MTV 2.

Here are the results from the Bellator 43 broadcast.

Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn by Split Decision (29-28. 28-29, 29-28)
Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs by TKO (Referee Stoppage Due to Strikes, R2)
Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega by Submission (Guillotine 4:06, R1)
Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero by Submission (Keylock 2:18, R1)