Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar join Bellator Season 9 welterweight tournament

bellator100Rick Hawn (15-2) and Ron Keslar (9-3) will now fight in Bellator’s season 9 tournament after two spots were vacated by Mark Scanlon and Matt Riddle.

Bellator confirmed the news Monday via press release.

An injury forced Mark Scanlon out of the Bellator welterweight tournament and Matt Riddle announced his retirement from MMA after suffering a rib injury.

Hawn will now face Herman Terrado (11-2), while Keslar will battle Sergio Junior (29-11). Both fights will take place on September 20th from Phoenix’s Grand Canyon University in Arizona. Headlining the fight card will be a rematch between the finalists of season 8′s tournament Douglas Lima and Ben Saunders.

After a loss to Michael Chandler for the Bellator Lightweight Championship in January, Hawn moved back up to welterweight. Next, Hawn battled Karo Parisyan in April and knocked out him out in the second round.

“I’m just excited to back in the Bellator Tournament again and looking forward to fighting at welterweight and making a run in this tournament. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. The field is really deep this season, I know it’s going to be a tough road,” said Hawn.

Hawn’s opponent, Terrado, hails from San Diego, CA, and has earned seven of his 11 wins by way of (T)KO. In additon, he comes into his Bellator debut having won seven straight.

In the other newly announced bout, newcomer Kesler will meet Sergio Junior. Keslar comes into Bellator riding a four fight win streak. Training out of the American Kickboxing Academy in San Jose, CA, Keslar faces Brazilian Sergio Junior, who has compiled 25 finishes in his 29 wins.

“We are only three weeks into our season, and it’s no secret our tournaments have been hit hard with injury,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With that said, it speaks to the depth we’ve created here to be able to add in talent like Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar less than a week before the fight. This is still an incredibly deep field of talent, and Friday should be a great night of fights.”

Tickets for the event can be purchased by visiting the Grand Canyon University Arena Box Office or www.GCUArena.com,with tickets starting at just $25. The event will be broadcast live on Spike starting at 6 p.m. PST on Spike, as well as in Spanish language on mun2.

The full fight card for Bellator MMA can be found below:

MAIN CARD

Bellator Welterweight Tournament Final: Douglas Lima (24-5) vs. Ben Saunders (16-5)

Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: War Machine (13-4) vs. Vaughn Anderson (16-1-1)

Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Rick Hawn (15-2) vs. Herman Terrado (11-2)

Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Brent Weedman (21-8-1) vs. Justin Baesman (14-3)

Bellator Welterweight Opening Round: Ron Keslar (10-3) vs. Sergio Junior (29-11)

 

PRELIMINARY CARD

Bantamweight Tournament Semifinal: Travis Marx (20-4) vs. Brandon Bender (11-0)

Featherweight Feature Fight: Bubba Jenkins (4-0) vs. LaRue Burley (2-0)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Beau Tribolet (7-2) vs. Liam McGeary (4-0)

Heavyweight Feature Fight: Mighty Mo (3-2) vs. Dan Charles (6-0)

Welterweight Feature Fight: Johnny Buck (12-8) vs. Adam McDonough (8-0)

Light Heavyweight Feature Fight: Joe Yager (5-2) vs. Clifford Starks (8-2)

Lightweight Feature Fight: Efrain Escudero (19-7) vs. Zack Surdyka (5-1)

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