Ben Askren will see his first action since claiming Bellator gold last October. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bellator Fighting Championships on Thursday announced the full seven-fight card for Bellator 40, which goes down this Saturday, April 9, at the First Council Casino in Newkirk, Okla.
The MTV2-televised event will be headlined by a non-title bout between Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren and onetime BodogFight titleholder Nick Thompson. Also featured on the main card will be a pair of tournament semifinals: Jay Hieron and Brent Weedman will square off to determine Rick Hawn’s opponent in the welterweight final, while lightweights Lloyd Woodard and Michael Chandler will battle for the right to face finalist Patricky Freire.
British featherweight Ronnie Mann was slated to make his Bellator debut at the event, but the promotion was forced to push his bout with Josh Arocho to April 23 due to visa issues. As such, Bellator 40’s main card will now feature only three fights, one less than the usual four. However, a source close to the promotion informed Sherdog.com on Thursday that certain “local” undercard bouts could find their way to the live broadcast under the right circumstances.
The preliminary card will feature a welterweight duel between three-time Bellator vet Tyler Stinson and Oklahoma-based Nathan James, as well as a heavyweight affair pitting Hammer House representative Josh Burns against once-beaten Eric Prindle. Rounding out the prelims will be matchups pairing David Rickles with Dylan Smith, and Cody Carrillo with Michael Osborn.