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All Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament participants made official

Already rumored for a bout on March 5 at the first event of Season 4, Jay Hieron and Steve Carl were officially added to the field competing for an opportunity to face Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren. The two 170-pounders were announced in separate press releases from the company and are the final parts of a tournament group composed of Jim Wallhead, Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Chris Lozano, Brent Weedman, and of course former title-holder Lyman Good.

“Jay’s the perfect fighter to round out our stacked welterweight tournament,” explained Bellator’s chief executive Bjorn Rebney. “He’s a true mixed martial artist who has very few weaknesses and a ton of strengths inside the cage. Jay will be a tremendous test for anyone and everyone in this talent rich tournament.”

Meanwhile, on the subject of Carl, Rebney alluded to the Army veteran’s past performances in Bellator, as well as his recovery from a potentially career-ending accident in 2006, saying, “(Steve) has been on an incredible journey, and I’m very happy to see him compete in this stacked tournament. He has been a tremendous competitor throughout his fights in Bellator, and I expect him to take his game to the next level in this tournament.”

Both welterweights expressed equal excitement about their involvement this season with Carl explaining the talent as “phenomenal” and “off the charts”, while Hieron elaborated on why he chose Bellator after racking up nine wins in his last ten fights yet still being released by Strikeforce.

“This is the exact type of situation I wanted to be in right now. With the tournament format, there’s no politics, no golden boys, and nobody getting protected – there’s none of that. If you win you move forward, and that’s that. That’s the bottom line and that’s exactly what I was looking for.”


  • Guthookd says:

    Steve Carl is an animal.

    Anyone who missed it, last season his ACL and MCL blew out in the middle of a fight (we’re talking a bad separation) and that guy kept on fighting. If the ref hadn’t seen his leg all bend sideways Steve would have finished the fight with one leg. I was very impressed.

    I hope he’s all rehab’d and squared away so he can really show his stuff this season.

    I’m going to go ahead and pick Steve over Jay in this one.

  • MCM says:

    “…With the tournament format, there’s no politics, no golden boys, and nobody getting protected – there’s none of that….”

    Well said Mr. Hieron. Glad to see him in an organization that respects what he brings to the cage and the division.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Not a bad tourney but it would be better if GSP, Diaz, Daley, Woodley and Shields made up the 10 with Heiron, Askren, Carl, Good and Hornbuckle.
    No, what am I crazy? it is much better that they never compete. In fact it is a shame that this tourney is as good as it is. It would be much better if some of these guys were prevented by law from competing.
    What we need is more exclusive contracts. Stop fighters from fighting each other for god’s sake. The last thing any sport needs is the best competing against each other, sure every other major sport in existence does it but that doesn’t mean MMA should.
    I’m all for preventing fighters fighting other fighters. i’m with you guys. PLEASE DON’T ALLOW THE BEST TO COMPETE. It would be horrible.

  • MMA-LOGIC says:

    Like boxing.

  • cocoonofhorror says:

    do i detect a hint of sarcasm?

  • LiverPunch says:

    I’m going Askren vs Hieron in the final and Askren to win via dec.
    Is that possible?.
    In Logics’ tourney I’m going GSP and Shields in the final and Shields to win via submission in the 1st like he is going to in the UFC. Rear naked choke to be exact.

  • Guthookd says:

    Lol LP>…Shields choking GSP…you brighten my day with such fantasy.

    LOGIC – God damn you.


  • Rece Rock says:

    i think eventually the best will be fighting the best BUT right now we have a couple of good promotions trying to be the best at what they do and until we have a Major League promotion, a Minor League promotion and an Ameature promotion all working under ONE umbrella this isn’t happening.

  • cutman says:

    @ guthooked that was Jared Hess..but Carl was in a tight triangle and was almost out and came back to win big…..


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