Bellator Fighting Championships today officially announced a Welterweight Special Feature Fight between Bellator veteran Ryan “The Tank Engine” Thomas and dynamic ground specialist “Judo” Jim Wallhead at Bellator 32, which will take place at the Kansas City Power & Light District on October 14th.
“Wallhead did not get to compete in our Season 2 tournament due to volcanic ash in Europe, so we’re glad to get him to the states during Season 3 for a fight with the always-entertaining Ryan Thomas,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney.
Thomas (11-5) enters the fight looking for redemption after falling to Season 2 Welterweight Tournament Champion Ben “Funky” Askren both in the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds. “The Tank Engine” was awarded a second chance in the tournament, consequently taking Wallhead’s spot, after a controversial stoppage loss to Askren in the quarterfinals. While Thomas is ready for a new opponent, he hasn’t forgotten about Askren, and looks at this fight with Wallhead as a path to possibly redeeming himself against the decorated former Olympian sometime in the future.
“After my last loss to Askren, it really left a bad taste in my mouth and made me change my game and really commit to the sport,” said Thomas. “I would love to take out Jim in this fight, get a chance to compete in the Season 4 Welterweight Tournament, and get another shot at Ben.”
Before he gets too far ahead of himself, Thomas has a very tough competitor standing in his way in Kansas City. Calling England home, Wallhead (19-5) enters the fight riding an impressive seven fight win streak. Making only his second appearance state side, Wallhead still has a lot to prove.
“In my only other fight in America, I lost a tough one, so I’m really excited to put on a good show in front of the fans,” said Wallhead. “I’ve grown a lot since that last fight, and hopefully fans see that.”
With both fighters entering this showdown with something to prove, fight fans will be certainly be the winners during this explosive welterweight special feature.
“I would love to end this fight by TKO or submission, but I’ll take what I can get in a fight like this,” said Wallhead. “One thing I do know for sure is that this fight will be a war.”