Bellator Fighting Championships’ upcoming welterweight tournament took a major hit today when Olympic judoka Rick Hawn revealed he had withdrawn his name from the field due to a knee injury sustained while training for a bout next month in the quarterfinal round against UFC veteran Ben Saunders. The two were scheduled to face off on September 10 at Bellator 49.
Hawn took to Twitter to relay the unfortunate news where he wrote he planned to be back “stronger than ever in a few months.”
The 34-year old was a finalist in last season’s 170-pound tourney where he lost a controversial Split Decision to Jay Hieron after starting out his MMA career with eleven straight wins. Hawn has notched past victories over Shone Carter, Jim Wallhead, and former Bellator welterweight champ Lyman Good.
No replacement has been announced for Hawn given the breaking nature of the story. However, realistic options could include newly signed welterweights David Rickels or Ryan Ford.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR