Bellator Fighting Championships announced today that supremely talented judoka Rick Hawn, who competed in 2004 at the Olympics in Athens, will throw his name into the mix this March during the promotion’s upcoming welterweight tournament with hopes of earning an opportunity to face current divisional champion, a fellow Olympian, Ben Askren.
“Rick was incredibly impressive in his first fight with Bellator, and is a perfect fit for our Welterweight Tournament,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “This tournament is shaping up to be one of our most competitive and talent-rich yet and I can’t wait to see who will be facing Askren for our world championship after all is said and done.”
The undefeated Hawn doesn’t seem phased by the structure of what’s to come based on his experience in the sport where he previously made a name for himself.
“I’m definitely used to the tournament format due to my background in Judo,” he explained. “I’ve been competing in Judo competitions for many years with a very similar structure, so I’m definitely used to it, and I’m looking forward to doing it again.”
“I’m looking forward to possibly getting the chance to fight Ben for the championship,” Hawn continued. “He’s an Olympian, an incredible athlete, and the next time we see him I’m sure he’s going to have improved tremendously. I think a fight between us would be a great clash of styles and I don’t think two true Olympians have ever fought in the history of MMA.”
Joining Hawn in the tournament thus far are Dan Hornbuckle, Chris Lozano, Jim Wallhead, Brent Weedman, and Steve Carl with two more names expected to be officially revealed in the coming weeks (one of which should be former welterweight champ Lyman Good). Seven of Hawn’s nine total wins have come by way of TKO including an impressive performance against LeVon Maynard at Bellator 33 in October.
PHOTO CREDIT – Bellator