(Askren dominated all but a few moments of the fight. Courtesy of Bellator.)
Bellator delivered another entertaining dose of fights to basic cable last night as Ben Askren used excellent wrestling-for-MMA to take Dan Hornbuckle down, control him, and defend what few submission attempts “The Handler” managed. While his striking game is still rudimentary, Askren’s grappling style and gas tank will make him a tough test for anyone moving forward, especially Lyman Good, who Askren will face for the Bellator Welterweight Championship. In regards to Good, Askren said, “Keep my belt warm, shine it once a week and enjoy it while you got it ‘cos it’s mine, baby.”
Three of the night’s televised fights were auditions for spots in future Bellator tournaments; Lisa Ward won her spot in the women’s 115-pound tourney with a quick, dominant win over an out-matched Stephanie Frausto and Jose Vega and Raphael Davis should be getting calls for the bantam- and light heavyweight tournaments as well.
After knocking out Jarrod Card, Vega made his case to color announcer Jimmy Smith. “(Bellator season three bantamweight tourney entrant) Danny Tims, I beat him in Sturgis. (Jarrod Card), he was supposed to be in the 135-pound tournament. Where am I? I beat both of ‘em. Gimme a spot.”
Season two wraps up next week in Louisville, Ky., where FIGHT! will be reporting live on the conclusions of the featherweight and middleweight tournaments.
Ben Askren def. Dan Hornbuckle by unanimous decision to win the Bellator Season Two Welterweight Tournament.
Lisa Ward def. Stephanie Frausto by technical submission (rear naked choke) at 2:01 of Round 1.
Jose Vega def. Jarrod Card by KO (punch) at 0:39 of Round 1.
Raphael Davis def. Demetrius Richards by submission (strikes) at 2:51 of Round 1.
Rudy Bears def. Brian Green by submission (rear naked choke) at 3:29 of Round 1.
Tyler Stinson def. Leonardo Pecanha by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:42 of Round 1.
Cole Konrad def. John Orr by unanimous decision.
Jared Downing def. Chad Vandenberg by submission (rear naked choke) at 1:35 of Round 3.
(Jose Vega wants to know if he has a spot in next season’s bantamweight tournament. Courtesy of Bellator.)
Coming in to the fights, Dan Hornbuckle was the only ranked fighter on the card. Following his loss to Ben Askren, Hornbuckle falls from #29 to #55 in our Welterweight Rankings, while Askren enters our rankings at #25.
Rudy Bears registered his third qualifying fight, beating Brian “Smokin’” Green to enter our Middleweight Rankings at #88. All other fighters on the card remain unranked.