Bellator 95 will play host to the Season 8 middleweight and featherweight tournament finals, as well as a welterweight showdown between judokas Rick Hawn and Karo Parisyan.
Bellator previously announced that the April 4 event would house the two finals, and Sherdog.com verified the plan Wednesday with a source close to the show, who also confirmed the Hawn-Parisyan booking. Magomedrasul Khasbulaev will square off with Mike Richman in the featherweight finals, while Brett Cooper and Doug Marshall will do battle over the 185-pound tournament crown.
Bellator 95 takes place at Revel in Atlantic City, N.J., and is headlined by a featherweight title collision between reigning champion Pat Curran and Season 7 tournament winner Shahbulat Shamhalaev. The event will also see women’s flyweight prospect Jessica Eye toe the line against Munah Holland, while former welterweight king Lyman Good faces “TUF 7” alumnus Dante Rivera.
Hawn, 36, conquered the Season 6 lightweight tournament last year, only to come up short in his Jan. 17 title bid against Michael Chandler. In his welterweight return, the former Olympian faces fellow judoka Karo Parisyan, who makes his Bellator debut on the heels of back-to-back wins under the Gladiator Challenge banner.
Khasbulaev dominated Fabricio de Assis Costa da Silva in the Season 8 quarterfinals and did the same to former Sengoku champion Marlon Sandro in the round-of-four. Richman, meanwhile, looks to snap his foe’s eight-fight winning streak after advancing to the featherweight finals by besting Mitch Jackson and Alexandre Bezerra.
Cooper outpointed Norman Paraisy and then authored an exciting, come-from-behind victory in his semifinal against Dan Cramer, overcoming a two-round deficit to earn a knockout in the bout’s final stanza. On the other side of the bracket, Marshall punched out Andreas Spang and then took a controversial split decision victory from Sultan Aliev to earn his place in the tournament finals.