Rick Hawn is looking forward to his shot at Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.
“He’s a tough kid,” Hawn told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “He’s proved that by beating Eddie Alvarez the way he did and just his fast rise to winning the belt, but I think it’s a great matchup for myself. Just with my background, I think I’m going to do well with him, against his wrestling and his boxing. I’m definitely looking forward to that fight in a few months.”
Hawn earned the shot at Chandler by winning the Bellator Season 6 lightweight tournament. After knocking out Ricardo Tirioni in the opening round and Lloyd Woodard in the semifinals, he won a unanimous decision over Brent Weedman at the May 25 tournament final.
“He brought even a little more than I thought he would,” Hawn said of Weedman. “I knew it would be tough to finish him. I don’t think he’s ever been finished. I didn’t want to just rely on using my right hand and just focus on that. I knew it would be a tough fight and I would have to probably drag it out and just grind on him. He’s a tough kid. My hat’s off to him. It was a great fight and a great learning experience for me to be pushed like that and to have another tough fight on my resume.”
Hawn has only been fighting professionally for three and a half years. Of course, he is a former judo Olympian. The revelation this Bellator season was his boxing.
“From the beginning I really focused on just my hands,” Hawn said. “I didn’t want to be known as just a judo guy. A lot of people consider me just a judo guy, which is fine, but I didn’t want to be one-dimensional. I’ve been really focused on being well rounded and working on my hands. They’re getting better and better every fight. They’re still not anywhere close to where I want them to be or where my goal is to have them be, but it’s a work in progress.”
Against Chandler, Hawn believes his improved boxing could be a factor.
“I think there’s not many people that can withstand one of my good, solid shots,” Hawn said. “Maybe Brent Weedman, but definitely if I can get a good shot on [Chandler], of course it’s going to possibly put him down. But it’s not going to be an easy task. He’s got very good hands himself. I’m definitely looking forward to the challenge and seeing what I can do against him.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:17:49).