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Bellator 40: Askren Impresses, Hieron, Chandler Advance to Finals

It was all Ben “Funky” Askren against longtime MMA veteran Nick “The Goat” Thompson in Askren’s first fight since taking the title from former Bellator World Champion Lyman Good. Askren started Round 1 with a spinning-back fist but quickly started a three-round grappling clinic, which left Thompson ineffective for almost the entire fight. At the very end of Round 3, a frustrated Thompson showed a glimmer of hope as he landed a few blows from the top with Askren on his back. It was not nearly enough to impress the judges, who awarded Ben Askren the unanimous decision victory.

“Tonight at Bellator 40 Ben Askren continued to show the world that he’s the best wrestler in all of MMA,” said Bellator CEO Bjorn Rebney.  “Chandler looked spectacular and Jay put on a very solid performance as well”

In the second lightweight semifinal of the season, All-American wrestler Michael Chandler met Lloyd “Cupcake” Woodard in a tightly-contested match. In Round 1, Chandler outwrestled Woodard, displaying crowd-pleasing takedowns, which included a powerful belly-to-belly suplex. Woodard found his ground in Round 2, landing a big knee to the face of a crouched Chandler and, later, locking in a standing rear-naked choke. Chandler came out fresh in Round 3, continuing his wrestling domination and throwing heavy shots from the top position to close out the round. Going the distance, the judges awarded Chandler the victory via unanimous decision, securing his place in a lightweight finals matchup with Patricky Pitbull.

Fast-rising Brent Weedman faced MMA veteran Jay “The Thoroughbred” Hieron in a hard-fought welterweight semifinal fight. At the outset of Round 1, Weedman landed a left hook, dropping Hieron to the ground. Hieron, an experienced wrestler, quickly took the top position where he locked in D’Arce chokes on two occasions but was unable to submit Weedman. An aggressive Weedman had Hieron backpedaling for the majority of Round 2, initiating powerful leg kicks and strikes. In Round 3, Hieron took Weedman to the ground but was unable to remain in control as Weedman attempted a guillotine choke. Weedman continued the round by landing powerful thigh kicks. Hieron retaliated with a few super-man punches. Hieron closed out the round from the top position, which made an impression on the judges, as they declared Hieron victorious via a unanimous decision. Jay Hieron advances to the finals where he will face Rick Hawn.

Official Main Card Results:

Welterweight Super Fight: Ben Askren def. Nick Thompson by Unanimous Decision [30-26, 30-27, 30-27]

Welterweight Semifinal Fight: Jay Hieron def. Brent Weedman by Unanimous Decision [29-28. 29-28, 29-28]

Lightweight Semifinal Fight: Michael Chandler def. Lloyd Woodard by Unanimous Decision [29-28, 29-28, 29-28]

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