Bellator Fighting Championships officially announced today that it will hold a Season 4 Welterweight Tournament in the promotion’s highly anticipated fourth season airing on MTV2. Eight top 170 lb. fighters will face off for a chance at claiming the Season 4 Welterweight Tournament Championship, a check for $100,000, and a shot at Bellator Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren for the title later this year.
While announcements regarding confirmed participants for the Bellator Welterweight Tournament are forthcoming, Bellator veteran and Season 2 welterweight tournament finalist Dan “The Handler” Hornbuckle is confirmed for the upcoming competition. After suffering a defeat at the hands of current champion Askren by way of unanimous decision in the Season 2 finals, Hornbuckle is eager for another shot at the belt.
“The fact that Ben Askren is going to be there waiting for me after I win this tournament keeps me motivated,” said Hornbuckle. “It keeps me waking up every morning hungry. There’s never a loss that is taken easily, so I definitely want to get back in there, win this tournament, and avenge that loss.”
Even with his sights ultimately set on Askren and the Bellator crown, Hornbuckle knows he can’t look too far ahead.
“My sights are definitely still set on obtaining that Bellator gold, but the way that this tournament is shaping up, I can’t look past my next fight for a second,” Hornbuckle said. “This is going to be the toughest welterweight tournament that you will ever see in MMA.”
Known for his highlight reel head kicks and flashy submissions, Hornbuckle has finished 20 of his 22 victories by knockout or submission. In 2010, Hornbuckle compiled consecutive tap out victories over the likes of Tyler Stinson and Steve Carl before picking up a hard-fought unanimous decision win over dangerous UFC veteran “Bad” Brad Blackburn.
“While our first two welterweight tournaments have been great, based on the lineup, this tournament is stacked from #1 through 8 and should be our strongest to date,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “Dan’s a significant talent and I know how motivated he is to earn his way to a rematch with Ben, it’s great to have him back in”