100% Reviewed
Top 10 Best Fighters (12 Total):
1. Chase Beebe - 92.2
2. Ron Sparks - 92.1
3. Michael Osborn - 92.0
4. Bryan Baker - 91.6
5. David Rickels - 91.4
6. Jay Hieron - 90.2
7. Rick Hawn - 90.2
8. Jose Vega - 89.2
9. Richard Bouphanouvong - 89.0
10. Joe Riggs - 88.5
Bellator 43: Hieron vs. Hawn
Location: Newkirk, Oklahoma
Elevation: 1,152'
-Fight of the Night-
Chase Beebe vs. Jose Vega
Fighters & Matches 88.8
Top 10 Fighters 90.6
TOTAL 89.7
     This fight started with Schatz shooting for a takedown, landing in side control, where he beat up Osborn on the ground. They stood back up, clinched, and Osborn blasted Schatz with some knees against the cage. Osborn took Schatz to the ground, postured up, and beat the shit out of Schatz until the fight was stopped by the referee. Another solid first round finish by Michael Osborn.
(Triangle Choke)
      Bouphanouvong was aggressive in the opening round, attacking Rickels, and taking him to the ground early. From there, Bouphanouvong spent the first half of the round pounding on the face of Rickels with punches from above. Rickels finally got back to his feet, and unloaded some punches to the head of Bouphanouvong, but it was only a few seconds before Bouphanouvong was able to take him back to the ground. Round one clearly goes to Bouphanouvong based on his ground & pound.
     Both guys were throwing wild strikes to start the second round, until Rickels drove through Bouphanouvong with a series of knees, knocking him to the ground near the cage. Bouphanouvong shot for a last minute takedown, Rickels slapped on a triangle choke, cranked on it, and Bouphanouvong was forced to submit. Another awesome finish for David Rickels. This guy really should be on the main cards from now on.
      Here we have a couple of plump heavyweights, swinging for the fences, not really concerning themselves with defending their chins. Sparks probably landed the better punches for most of the fight. Sparks then blasted Lucero with a deep leg kick, knocking him to the ground, where Sparks was able to get side control. From there, Sparks started cranking on a keylock, forcing Lucero to submit just under the halfway point of round one. Nice win for Ron Sparks, now 2-0 in Bellator's Heavyweight Division, with two first round finishes.
(Guillotine Choke)
      These guys spent a minute or so trading strikes, and then Beebe went for a standing guillotine, Vega tripped him to the ground, and they stood back up and clinched. Vega landed some uppercuts from inside the clinch, and they broke apart. Beebe shot in for a takedown halfway through the round, he passed Vega's guard, locked on a guillotine choke, Vega stood back up, and they clinched some more. Vega ducked down for another takedown attempt, Beebe locked on another guillotine, they fell to the ground, Beebe cranked it, and Vega tapped out with less than a minute left in the opening round. Decent Bellator debut for Chase Beebe.
      They basically spent the first round trading strikes, everything felt somewhat even, but Baker landed the harder kicks, along with some decent punches, and also showed some solid movement, so I gave the first round to Baker. They both looked pretty pumped coming out into the second round, but neither guy looked comfortable enough to pull the trigger. Baker eventually threw a flying knee, got the clinch, pinned Riggs against the cage, landed a few knees to the body, and then he started looking for a takedown, but Riggs stuffed that easily. Baker finally backed out of the clinch, and started picking apart Riggs with punches, putting him down with a left hand to the jaw after some solid body shots, Riggs collapsed, and Baker stood over him, ready to kill, and the referee stopped the fight just in time to prevent Riggs from taking any unnecessary damage. This was another really solid win for Bryan Baker, and a pretty bad Bellator debut for Joe Riggs.
      It looked like Hawn was having a hard to working with Hieron's length, as Hawn was throwing strikes, and missing, while Hieron was was picking him apart with jabs and leg kicks. Round one goes to Hieron. The second round was VERY even, with both guys circling around the center of the cage, trading punches & kicks. Every time I thought one guy was winning, the other fighter would land something significant, making me question my decision. So I honestly have no idea who won the second round of this fight. Hawn spent the final round chasing Hieron, and blasting him with some pretty big shots, rocking him a few times. In the end, this was a close fight, but if I had to pick a winner, I'd probably score it 29-28 in favor of Rick Hawn. Two judges disagreed, giving the fight to Hieron via split-decision.