This past weekend, Bellator closed out their Season 6 with their 70th overall show. One of the feature fights was the final to Bellator’s 155 lb tournament, where Rick Hawn won a a decision victory over Brent Weedman to claim the $100,000.00 proze and earn a shot at Lightweight Champion Michael Chandler sometime next season.
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Chandler is an undefeated champion, and no one can say he does not deserve the belt after taking out top 5 Lightweight Eddie Alvarez to win the title. Chandler has done well taking on the Bellator roster, but he still needs some ring time.
He figures to get ring time against Hawn, who is 14-1, undefeated at Lightweight and brings with him a plethora of international competition experience from his days in Judo.
This will be a hard fight to set the line for. I can see it coming in at a near pick ‘em fight, with Chandler perhaps not getting a whole lot of ‘champion’s’ respect.
One of the things where Bellator certainly falls short is in their marketing. Hawn, in his post fight interview stated ‘Chandler I know your watching at home’. Really? Chandler wasn’t in the building representing the belt and being accessible to media and video and their TV show? Man hope that $800.00 plane ticket saved the company.
Chandler was very efficient in his last outing, a non-title match against Japanese veteran Akihiro Gono where he won by KO in under 1 minute. But I am not sure that was enough to keep him in the viewership’s memory, and Hawn was impressive throughout the tournament. It isn’t inconceivable that if the Hawn hype train starts, he may be favored as the challenger.
But what about the fight? Hawn has adjusted well to 155 lbs, he seems to have retained the power in his punches and he has stated he feels big, since his Judo competition experience came at 178 lbs.
Though Gono is far beyond his prime, he is also a very experienced competitor who fought most of his career at around 180 lbs and Chandler made very short work of him.
Hawn will likely be more cautious than Gono. Right now, I will pick Hawn to win the ifght, but this could change when the lines come out, and also as we get closer to fight time as other factors may come to light. This is a tough one to call, good for Bellator.