Tonight’s Bellator 43 from the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Oklahoma had a little bit everything, from quick finishes to in cage marriage proposals. Oh yeah and let’s not forget the welterweight tournament final between Rich Hawn and Jay Hieron.
The night was filled with action, as three of the four televised ended in early finishes. It was only the main event that went the distance on the whole night and it was a close one. See who won the welterweight tournament finals, along with the rest of the Bellator 43 fight card.
Heavyweight bout: Vince Lucero vs. Ron Sparks
Had to know this was going to be a slugfest and that’s just how the round opens. Sparks using a more range of striking and 90 seconds in sparks kicks out the legs of Lucero. Sparks jumps on top Lucero and quickly grabs the arm of Lucero and cranks it for the key lock submission win.
Ron Sparks by 1st round submission (Key Lock)
Bantamweight bout: Jose Vega vs. Chase Beebe
Early standing guillotine by Beebe doesn’t work and Vegas takes the fight to the ground. Back up and lots of back and forth action until Beebe gets nice takedown. Again though the fighters back to their feet, once again Beebe grabs for the standing guillotine. Beebe pulls guard and squeezes with everything he has which is enough to force Vega to tap out.
Chase Beebe by 1st round submission (Guillotine)
Middleweight bout: Joe Riggs vs. Bryan Baker
First two minutes of the fight has no action as the two fighters feel each other out. Cup check by Baker stops the fight while Riggs recovers from the low blow. Still not loads of action from the two, but better than the opening minutes. Flying knee lands by Baker, who is moving forward more and throwing a lot of kicks. The round ends with another flying knee from Baker that is partially blocked by Riggs.
Round two opens with the two fighters faking punches and ducking punches that aren’t being thrown, prompting the fans to BOO again. Baker throws a flurry with a few shots landing, but Riggs lands a nice counter punch. Another flying knee by Baker after a solid shot lands from Riggs. Baker has Riggs against the cage, landing several knees and punches and followed that up with a long combo to both the head and body. Baker then lands a left hook to chin of Riggs that drops the Veteran. Riggs curls into a ball as Baker stands above him until the referee steps in to wave the fight over.
Following the win Baker proposes to his girl friend inside the cage, she said yes!
Bryan Baker by 2nd round TKO
Welterweight Tournament Final bout: Jay Hieron vs. Rick Hawn
Hieron opens the fight using a lot of movement early on and using his angles to perfection in his striking. Hawn not doing much in this round as Hieron’s game plan thus far is working to perfection. With Hieron staying on the outside picking his shots it forcing Hawn to come in a force the action which is allowing Hieron to counterstrike as well.
Round two now and Hieron continues on the outside picking his shots and throwing timely kicks to boot. Hawn trying to open up some but Hieron is either backing out or moving to the side to avoid the punches. Hawn finally lands a nice shot, catching Hieron with a clean uppercut. As the round comes to an end Hieron gets a trip takedown at the bell to possibly steal the round, even though Hawn quickly gets up.
Final round now and as the two come together Hieron lands a combo. Good right by Hawn as Hieron might be fading a little bit now. Nice leg and punch combo from Hawn and he has taken over the fight, but is it too late for him. Hieron’s face looks like he’s been in a fight or something, while Hawn’s face is looking much better. The round comes to a close and it’s in the judges hands now.
Jay Hieron wins by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
Local Feature Fights
Catchweight bout: Rich Bouphanouvong vs. David Rickles – David Rickles by 2nd round Submission (Triangle Choke)
Lightweight bout: Mike Schatz vs. Michael Osborn – Michael Osborn by 1st round TKO