An intriguing welterweight bout took place last night at Bellator 95, which featured a rivalry fight between Judo stars Rick Hawn and Karo Parisyan.
Coming into this fight, both fighters expressed their disdain for each other, and even met several times in the past competing on the Olympic Judo circuit. On paper, this fight looked like is was going to be a Judo exhibition. Instead, both fighters decided to trade leather and put on an exciting show for the fans.
In the first round, both fighters were able to land some good shot, but neither was able to secure a hip throw or take-down. At the end of the first round, Hawn would land a head kick, which rocked Parisyan and it looked like Hawn was going to get the finish. The bell rung, however, and Parisyan headed back to his corner to regroup.
The second round started off with both fighters looking to put their combinations together, where Hawn was able to clip Parisyan and send him to the canvas. The ref was forced to stop the bout as Parisyan protested. It was indeed a good stoppage, and Hawn redeemed himself after his tough championship loss to Michael Chandler earlier last year.
Hawn has always shown to have excellent Judo skills, but his striking is coming along quite nicely and he is one of the most dangerous fighters Bellator has under their contract. In the post-fight interview, Hawn declared that he was going back down to lightweight in hopes of getting another rematch with Chandler. He will have to get a few fights under his belt, but a few more wins like this, and Bellator would be hard-pressed not to give him another title shot.