Bellator Signs Fast-Rising Hornbuckle

By Brian Knapp Dec 17, 2009
Bellator Fighting Championships on Thursday announced the signing of welterweight Dan Hornbuckle to a multi-fight contract.

Hornbuckle -- a Sengoku veteran who burst on the international scene earlier this year with knockout victories over UFC castaways Nick Thompson and Akihiro Gono -- will be invited to compete in Bellator’s upcoming welterweight tournament, which begins with the start of the promotion’s second season in April.

“When we began the recruiting process for Season 2 and beyond, Dan Hornbuckle was one of our top targets,” Bellator founder and CEO Bjorn Rebney said in a release. “To be able to land a fighter like Dan is another sign of our commitment to bring world-class fights to MMA fans on a weekly basis.”

Hornbuckle has rattled off 18 wins in 19 fights, losing only to current UFC welterweight Mike Pyle in that span. The 28-year-old has delivered 16 of his 19 career victories by KO, technical knockout or submission and has not had a fight go the distance in nearly three years.

“I want to be a guy who people bring up whenever they talk about MMA,” Hornbuckle said. “I want to be the name that all the guys on the construction sites are talking about the morning after a big fight.”

Hornbuckle’s deal comes on the heels of Bellator’s announced signings of unbeaten Arizona Combat Sports standout Jacob McClintock and 2008 Olympian Ben Askren.

“With the addition of Hornbuckle to an already steady tournament field that includes Askren and McClintock, we’ve created a great tournament field in a division that many experts said was thin when it came to available talent,” Rebney said. “What we now have is the beginning of a 170-pound field that has created a feeling amongst hardcore MMA fans that April can’t come soon enough.”
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