NEWKIRK, Okla. — Bellator 43 takes place this evening at the First Council Casino this evening and features the fourth-season welterweight tournament final between Jay Hieron and Rick Hawn in the main event.
Other bouts on the card include a middleweight match-up between Joe Riggs and Bryan Baker, a bantamweight bout between Chase Beebe and Jose Vega, and a heavyweight match-up between Ron Sparks and Vince Lucero.
Bellator 43 will air LIVE on MTV2 starting at 8 p.m. ET/5 p.m. PT. ProMMAnow.com will provide LIVE results and play-by-play commentary of each bout. Readers can press F5 on your keyboard to refresh this page, as play-by-play is updated in real time.
Bellator 43 quick results:
MAIN CARD (Televised on MTV 2)
- Welterweight Tournament Finals: Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Rd 3 (5:00)
- Middleweight bout: Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs by TKO (punch) Rd 2 (3:53)
- Bantamweight bout: Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega by submission (guillotine choke) Rd 1 (4:06)
- Heavyweight bout: Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero by submission (keylock) Rd 1 (2:18)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Local Feature Fights)
- Welterweight bout: David Rickles def. Rich Bouphanouvong by submission (triangle choke) Rd 2 (1:11)
- Lightweight bout: Michael Osborn def. Mike Schatz by TKO (strikes) Rd 1 (1:58)
Bellator 43 play-by-play:
Ron Sparks vs. Vince Lucero
Round 1 – Left hook from Sparks connects. Left jab and a leg kick, lands a couple big rights, backing Lucero up. Lucero checks a leg kick. Left jab from Sparks and a big leg kick. Right hook from Sparks, leg kick. Sparks drops Lucero with a leg kick. Sparks takes side control. Looking for a keylock, loses it, goes for it again, it’s tight — Lucero is grimacing… that’s a wrap and Lucero taps out. Sparks remains undefeated at 7-0.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Ron Sparks def. Vince Lucero by submission (keylock) Rd 1 (2:18)
Chase Beebe vs. Jose Vega
Round 1 – Leg kick from Vega, left jab. Leg kick from Vega. Big leg kick from Vega. Left hook. Clinch, Beebe goes for a standing guillotine, Vega trips him to the ground and gets out. Scramble to the feet and Beebe locks on a standing guillotine again, lets it go, clinched against the cage, they separate and square up. Leg kick from Vega. Dirty boxing from both, they separate and square up. Nice right from Beebe. One, two from Beebe. Clinch, Beebe drops levels, gets the takedown. Beebe on top in half guard. Vega sits up and gets to his feet. Vega pushing Beebe against the cage looking for the single. Beebe holding on to his neck, locks on the guillotine as Vega takes him down and it’s all over Vega taps out while caught in half guard. Clay Guida is in Beebe’s corner and comes in to celebrate with Beebe. Beebe does a front flip and backflip in the cage. — This was a season five bantamweight qualifier.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Chase Beebe def. Jose Vega by submission (guillotine choke) Rd 1 (4:06)
Joe Riggs vs. Bryan Baker
Round 1 – Body kick from Baker. Baker with another kick, blocked by Riggs. Baker fakes another kick. One two punch from Riggs mostly blocked. Boos from the crowd, getting restless. Baker lands a right to the groin as Riggs counters with a right hook. Riggs takes only about 20 seconds of the time out. Body kick from Baker. Baker misses a head kick, again. Riggs misses with a big right. Leg kick from Baker. Right hand from Riggs. Flying knee from Baker scores and Riggs tries to counter with a right. Baker tries to walk down Riggs, gets caught with a big right hook. Again. Head kick from Baker is blocked, still knocks him back a bit. Body shot from Baker. Slips another punch. Tie clinch from Baker, knee to the body. Flying knee from Baker does not connect as Riggs tries to counter. ProMMAnow.com scores the round 10-9 for Riggs.
Round 2 – Riggs catches a kick, lets it go. Left hand from Riggs. Nice right hook from Riggs. Nice right from Riggs as Baker tries to walk him down. Leg kick from Baker. Left hand from Riggs. Flying knee from Baker, misses, counter right from Riggs. Tie clinch from Baker, lands some knees to the body. Knee from Riggs. Baker shoots, stuffed. Another two knees to the body from Baker. Riggs fires back with big punches. Baker lands a big left to the body, Riggs counters with a right, but leaves his right low and Baker lands a huge left hook on the chin and Riggs goes down and out. He stands over Riggs and waits to see if he needs to follow up — there’s no need as Riggs covers up and the ref steps in. Big action and big power from Baker. Riggs actually looked good, he just made one mistake leaving himself open during that exchange.
NOTES: This win is even more impressive when you consider Baker is a leukemia survivor and his medicine costs $5K per month to stay healthy. His leukemia has gone into remission. Baker just proposed to his girlfriend Megan Vargas in the cage — got down on one knee and gave her a ring. She said yes. Baker’s mom is ringside clapping and smiling.
OFFICIAL RESULT: Bryan Baker def. Joe Riggs by TKO (punch) Rd 2 (3:53)
Jay Hieron vs. Rick Hawn
Round 1 – Leg kick from Hieron. Again. Hawn swings and misses, again, lands a left. They swap leg kicks. Left hook from Hieron and a leg kick that’s checked. Spinning back kick from Hieron knocks Hawn backward. Body kick from Hieron. Jab, jab to body from Hieron. Low blow from Hiergon, jab. Hawn lands a punch. Hieron with more kicks, slips a big right from Hawn. Hieron with a big leg kick. Right hand from Hawn. Big leg kick from Hieron. Hawn chasing. Jab from Hieron. Flying knee from Hieron misses. Left jab from Hawn. Leg kick from Hieron. Right hand from Hawn counters a leg kick. Right hand from Hawn and a left hook hits the chin. Leg kick from Hieron. They exchange shots, both landing punches. Hawn willing to stand and trade with Jay which is pretty impressive considering Heiron’s experience. ProMMAnow.com scores the round 10-9 for Hieron.
Round 2 – Right hand from Hieron. Hawn still chasing. Leg kick from Hieron. Uppercut from Hawn. Hawn ducks a spinning backfist. Big leg kick from Hieron. Left jab from Hawn. Nice right from Hieron. Leg kick from Hieron. Leg kick from Hieron. Left jab from Hawn. Hieron slips a right hand. Hawn lands a shot and Hieron slips to the ground but gets right up as he retreats from four jabs. Leg kick from Hieron. Hieron reminding me of Machida with his counter fighting in this round. Right hand from Hieron. Nice left hand from Hawn. One minute to go. Leg kick from Hawn.Hieron with a leg kick. One, two from Hawn lands solid. Superman punch from Hawn connects. Hawn turning it on trying to steal the round. Clinch, Hieron gets a trip takedown but they get right up. ProMMAnow.com scores the round 10-9 for Hieron.
Round 3 – Head kick from Hieron is blocked. Leg kick from Hieron. Hieron shoots, stuffed. Left hand from Hawn. Spinning back kick connects from Hieron. Hawn’s corner told him to make it ugly. One, two from Hieron. Leg kick from Hieron. Hieron’s takedown stuffed, Hawn lands a couple short jabs. Head kick from Hieron lands on the back of Hawn’s shoulder. Leg kick from Hieron. Left jab, again from Hawn. Hieron’s nose seems to be causing him trouble, keeps touching it. Hawn lands a few nice jabs. One two from Hawn. Nice leg kick from Hawn. Body shot from Hawn. Hieron seems worried about his nose, constantly touching it. One minute to go. Hawn moved forward this whole round. Left hand from Hawn and a leg kick. Leg kick from Hawn. Hieron catches a kick and counter punches. Hieron cheering and smiling like he won. Hawn does not look so happy. The winner gets $1000,000 and a title shot against welterweight champ Ben Askren. There is a lot on the line here.
NOTES: Bellator commentator Jimmy Smith actually thought Hawn won due to him being more aggressive coming forward. I disagree because, although yes he was coming forward, he did not score effectively which is most important. Hieron said, “Askren shine up my belt I’m coming for it.”
OFFICIAL RESULT: Jay Hieron def. Rick Hawn by split decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28) Rd 3 (5:00)