For Bellator, their 95th show brings season 8 to an end this Thursday April 4th on SPIKE TV. The main event features Featherweight Champion Pat Curran defending his belt against season 7 tourney winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev, plus two season 8 tournament finals (in the middleweight and feather weight divisions) and a judo friendly superfight that could be special if Bellator catches lightning in a bottle. Let’s focus on that fight, which will air on the main card on SPIKE TV.
The main card match is Bellator’s Rick Hawn, a judo Olympian, facing off against one of the pioneers of judo in MMA, Karo Parisyan. Hawn is 14-2 in his MMA career and still is potentially rising as a star. Parisyan, though still young at just 30 years old has a lot of mileage on his body.
Back in 2004-2006, parisyan was considered one of the top welterweights in the UFc stable, but then his career tailspinned. The kid was talented, so what if he acted bizarrely, like smoking a cigarette before the weigh ins. But an anxiety disorder and possible substance abuse problem with pain killers piled on and Parisyan was gone from the UFC. Since being formally released by the UFC, he is 3-3 on smaller shows.
Hawn is coming off a loss, but it was in a title fight against Champion Michael Chandler, and his record remains a terrific 14-2.
Parisyan needs a quality win badly, he needs a win that will get people’s attention and signal that he is not washed up at 30 years old. Hawn could represent that victory for him, but until Parisyan has put a few solid wins together and shown that he has overcome his demons, Hawn is the pick in the fight.
Hawn has the discipline that comes with his judo background, as he has gotten better and better as his MMA career has progressed. The drop to 155 lbs was certainly good for him and showed that he is committed to his MMA career. When was the last time we could say any of those things about Parisyan?