Anthony Lapsley will take on Jay Hieron at Bellator 35. | Peter Lockley/Sherdog.com
King of the Cage veteran Anthony Lapsley will step in for an injured Steve Carl to compete in Bellator's season four welterweight tournament.
The promotion announced the change to the talent pool on Friday morning via press release. Lapsley joins Jim Wallhead, Rick Hawn, Lyman Good, Chris Lozano, Brent Weedman and Dan Hornbuckle in the tournament field, and “The Recipe” will now meet Strikeforce veteran Jay Hieron in the first round.
“Jay is actually a fighter I've always enjoyed watching; I just never thought I'd have the opportunity to fight him,” said Lapsley in the press release. “It's going to be a war. It's going to be a war because I'm going to make it a war. He's been on some big shows and fought some really tough guys, but it's my turn now.”
The welterweight tournament begins on March 5, as Bellator 35 emanates from the Tachi Palace Hotel and Casino in Lemoore, Calif. The main draw, which will feature all four welterweight quarterfinals, will be broadcast live on MTV2. The winner of the tournament will be awarded $100,000 in total pay and a shot at current 170-pound king Ben Askren.
A submission specialist, Lapsley holds 13 of his 19 career victories by tap out. The 30-year-old began his professional career in 2006, rattling off seven straight wins before running into former WEC contender Carlo Prater in 2007. Lapsley made his Bellator debut in 2009, choking out Ryan Williams at Bellator 7. The Hoosier rides a four-fight winning streak heading into his bout with Hieron.
“This is what I've been waiting on my entire career. I've been waiting for the opportunity to make some good money, for one, and also to finally get the recognition I deserve,” said Lapsley. “I've been through my struggles and ups and downs, but I feel like I'm ready to take it to the next level and make it happen for the family. Winning this tournament is going to change my life, and change my kids' lives.”
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