Cisneros Replaces Injured Hawn in Bellator Welterweight Draw

By Mike Whitman Aug 20, 2011
Bellator Fighting Championships today announced that welterweight Chris Cisneros (pictured) will replace an injured Rick Hawn in the promotion's upcoming 170-pound tournament.

Hawn withdrew from the fifth-season draw with a knee injury last week, leaving Ben Saunders without a quarterfinal opponent for the Sept. 10 kickoff at Bellator 49.

Cisneros, 31, has now stepped up to fill that void, making the bracket once again complete with eight confirmed competitors.

“This is a tremendous opportunity for me, and I’m looking to make some noise in this tournament,” Cisneros said in the official release. “It’s always a tough thing to see another fighter go down because of an injury, but it happened, and now I have a chance to fight for an unbelievable promotion like Bellator.”

Known as “The Maverick,” Cisneros fights out of Mountain View, Hawaii. The Lava MMA export currently rides a five-fight winning streak heading into his Bellator debut. He has only tasted defeat once in the last four years, falling by submission to UFC veteran Kalib Starnes in 2008.

Cisneros joins Steve Carl, Douglas Lima, Luis "Sapo" Santos, Dan Hornbuckle, Chris Lozano, Brent Weedman and Saunders in the tournament field. Bellator 49 will emanate from Caesar's Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, N.J., and the evening's main card will air live on MTV2.

“Rick had a tremendous run for us in our Season 4 welterweight tournament, and I was really looking forward to seeing him back in this tournament,” said Bellator head Bjorn Rebney. “Unfortunately, Rick suffered an injury that will keep him out for a few months, and I expect him back with Bellator in short order. I know Chris is going to come into this tournament hungry, and his fight with Ben should be a great one.”
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