Rick Hawn has Bellator gold on his mind. | Photo: Keith Mills/Sherdog.com
Rick Hawn and Brent Weedman are chasing the same prize.
Hawn and Weedman will collide in the Bellator MMA Season 9 welterweight tournament semifinals at Bellator 104 on Friday at the U.S. Cellular Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The winner will advance to the final against either War Machine or Ron Keslar, with a six-figure payday and coveted title shot on the line.
A four-time national judo champion, Hawn last appeared at Bellator 100 in September, when he cruised to a unanimous decision over Herman Terrado at the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix. The 37-year-old has posted five wins in his past six appearances, a submission defeat to reigning Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler the lone blemish. Hawn, who has delivered more than half (10) of his 16 professional wins by knockout, defeated Weedman by unanimous decision in the Season 6 lightweight tournament final in May 2012.
Weedman punched his ticket to the 170-pound semifinals with a first-round armbar-induced submission against Justin Baesman at Bellator 100. The 29-year-old Kentucky-based welterweight has compiled an 8-3 mark since arriving in Bellator in April 2010. Wins over Marius Zaromskis, Dan Hornbuckle and Douglas Lima anchor his resume. A proven finisher with a diverse skill set, Weedman has secured 19 of his 22 victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
With the Hawn-Weedman welterweight semifinal on the marquee, here are 10 facts surrounding Bellator 104:
FACT 1: Hawn has medaled 11 times at the U.S. National Judo Championships, capturing gold in 2000, 2002, 2003 and 2007, silver in 2005 and 2006 and bronze in 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001 and 2008.
FACT 2: War Machine has yet to go the distance in victory, the controversial 31-year-old having finished all 14 of his wins -- eight by knockout or technical knockout and six more by submission.
FACT 3: Kendall Grove (Season 3) is one of eight former winners of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series not currently competing in the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Forrest Griffin (Season 1), Joe Stevenson (Season 2), Matt Serra (Season 4), Travis Lutter (Season 4), Efrain Escudero (Season 8), James Wilks (Season 9) and Jonathan Brookins (Season 12) are the others.
FACT 4: Australian heavyweight Peter Graham holds a 57-11 record as a professional kickboxer, with wins over 2001 K-1 World Grand Prix winner Mark Hunt and 2009 K-1 World Grand Prix finalist Badr Hari.
FACT 5: Nine of Robert Emerson’s 10 career defeats have come by decision.
FACT 6: Team Kaobon’s Paul Sass has secured eight submissions via triangle choke, hence the nickname “Sassangle.”
FACT 7: Frenchman Karl Amoussou has fought in eight different countries as a mixed martial artist: the United States, France, Japan, Finland, the Netherlands, Russia, England and Switzerland.
FACT 8: Former Ring of Combat middleweight champion Paul Bradley was a two-time NCAA All-American wrestler at the University of Iowa.
FACT 9: During his 30-fight professional career, Duneland Vale Tudo’s Rod Montoya has never won or lost more than three bouts in a row.
FACT 10: Iowa will be the 28th state in which Bellator has promoted an event.