Bellator 23 Draws Askren-Hornbuckle Final

By Brian Knapp May 26, 2010
Dan Hornbuckle will meet undefeated prospect Ben Askren in the 2010 Bellator Fighting Championships welterweight tournament final at Bellator 23 on June 17 at the Kansas City Power and Light District in Kansas City, Mo. The Askren-Hornbuckle winner will challenge Bellator welterweight champion Lyman Good later this year.

Askren, a 2008 Olympian, has secured three of his five victories by submission. The 25-year-old Cedar Rapids, Iowa, native defeated UFC veteran Ryan Thomas by unanimous decision at Bellator 19 to advance to the final. Askren was a four-time collegiate All-American wrestler and two-time national champion at the University of Missouri. He finished his first four opponents inside one round.

Now based at American Top Team, Hornbuckle, the pre-tournament favorite, has rattled off 19 wins in his last 20 fights. The 29-year-old Montana native submitted Steve Carl with a first-round kimura to punch his ticket to the final. Hornbuckle has finished his last six foes, four of them in the opening round. Victories against American Kickboxing Academy standout Justin Wilcox, former Bodog Fight welterweight champion Nick Thompson and Pride Fighting Championships veteran Akihiro Gono anchor his resume.

Other matchups signed for Bellator 23 include a heavyweight duel pitting former NCAA wrestling champion Cole Konrad against John Orr, a 115-pound women’s bout pairing Tammie Schneider with Lisa Ward and a “local main event” between Tyler Stinson and Leonardo Pechana.
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