Bellator 43 took place from the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma last night. Jay Hieron defeated Rick Hawn in the main event to become the winner of Season 4’s Welterweight Tournament and $100,000. With the win, Hieron earns a title shot against reigning Bellator Welterweight World Champion Ben Askren.
“This was an incredible night of fights filled with some amazing finishes,” said Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney. “The Hieron-Hawn fight was a battle and Brian Baker provided a knockout and a moving, emotional moment that our audience will remember forever. And, Chase returned to form in dramatic fashion”
Hawn, a 2004 Judo Olympian, aimed to fight standing up against Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron, which proved to be the wrong decision. Hieron dictated the pace at the start, while Hawn forced the action at the end. The fight was as close as it gets, evidenced by Hieron winning by way of a split decision.
In a Middleweight Special Feature Fight, inspirational Bellator veteran Bryan “The Beast” Baker impressed against tough UFC and Strikeforce veteran Joe Riggs. Both fighters started by feeling each other out, but Baker quickly found his rhythm, connecting with a devastating left hook in Round 2, which gave way to a TKO stoppage.
Former WEC Champion Chase Beebe outclassed Bellator Season 3 Bantamweight Semifinalist Jose Vega and earned a spot in next season’s Bellator Bantamweight Tournament with the victory. Early on, Beebe was looking to take the fight to the ground, but Vega clearly wanted to stand with the Chicago native. After several guillotine attempts by Beebe, he finally locked one in and forced Vega to tap in the first minutes of Round 1.
In a heavyweight feature attraction, Ron “The Monster” Sparks went toe-to-toe against the experienced Vince Lucero. Early in the first round, Sparks connected with a kick and punch that dropped Lucero. Sparks then dominated, proving he has a dangerous ground-game and earning the victory by means of submission.
Official Main Card Results:
Jay Hieron defeated Rick Hawn by Split Decision (scores of 29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Bryan Baker defeated Joe Riggs by TKO (strikes) in Round 2.
Chase Beebe defeated Jose Vega by submission (guillotine choke) at 4:06 of Round 1.
Ron Sparks defeated Vince Lucero by submission (keylock) at 2:18 of Round 1.