With Olympic credentials in judo and an undefeated record in MMA it’s no wonder Rick Hawn feels good about his chances of becoming the top contender to Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren‘s title. However, to hear the 11-0 competitor talk about the likelihood of coming away winner later this evening at Bellator 43 against Jay Hieron and it almost sounds like victory should be a foregone conclusion.
“I’m very motivated heading into this fight with Hieron,” said Hawn through a press release from the promotion. “It’s just one last fight and then I’ll be able to take a little break. I’m just looking forward to getting this fight over with, getting out of there with a win, and then enjoying some time off after I earn my title shot.”
Hawn’s supreme confidence stems from the fact he is not only physically prepared but feels he’s already faced the hardest draw in the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament field and exited the bout with a win.
“I think Lyman Good was the toughest guy in the division, besides me of course. I’m not looking past Jay at all. He’s a really good athlete and a really good fighter, but honestly I feel like Lyman was a tougher fight for me than Jay’s going to be,” the talented judoka explained. “Lyman is really young, and he was just an animal in there. I don’t really see Jay being as strong or as quick as Lyman was. So I’m definitely not taking Jay lightly, but I feel like I have him covered.”
Hawn also encouraged folks to tune in based on the pace he plans to set due to the importance of the match-up and the less-restrictive format of tournament finals, saying, “I try to go balls to the wall in every fight, but especially in this one because it’s the finals. There’s going to be elbows and there’s going to be no holding back. I’m going to be going all out because this fight’s a big deal. This is what I’ve been training for, so I’m putting everything into it.”
Fans can find out who will secure the crack at Askren and a $100,000 payday starting at 9:00 PM EST on MTV2 with other notable main card match-ups including Strikeforce/UFC veteran Joe Riggs facing Bellator staple Bryan Baker and former WEC bantamweight champ Chase Beebe making his Bellator debut.
PHOTO CREDIT – BELLATOR