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Tag: Ben Askren

Volcanic Ash Gives Ryan Thomas Second Shot at Bellator Welterweight Tourney


(The choke in question goes down around 2:40.)

Ben Askren‘s technical submission win over UFC vet Ryan Thomas at Bellator XIV drew some controversy last week, as referee Dave Smith called a halt to the welterweight quarterfinal when it appeared that Thomas had been put out by a guillotine choke — then caught an earful from Thomas who didn’t seem to be unconscious after all. In the ref’s defense, when a guy is caught in a nasty choke and isn’t moving his arms and legs around, and isn’t responding to your questions, you have to assume that he might be sleeping. But regardless of what would have happened if the fight was allowed to continue, Ryan Thomas was bounced out of Bellator’s 170-pound tournament just as quickly as he arrived.

And this Thursday, he’ll get a chance to redeem himself. Bellator sent out a press release last night announcing that due to the apocalyptic ash cloud floating above Europe, welterweight GP participant "Judo" Jim Wallhead will be unable to travel from England to the Bellator XV show in Uncasville, Connecticut. Said Bjorn Rebney

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Bellator XIV Quick Results…


(The gruesome end of Curran vs. Ricci. All four tournament fights from last night’s event ended in stoppages. Video courtesy of YouTube.com/BellatorMMA.)

…are waiting for you after the jump.

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Heads Up: Bellator Returns Tonight With Ben Askren, Toby Imada, and More


(Just look at how much fun Jeremy Shockey and Mickey Rourke had last week, then try and tell us you don’t want to be a part of that.)

It’s another Thursday night in April, which means everyone’s favorite tournament-based MMA promotion is back in action.  Bellator XIV is coming to us from the historic Chicago Theatre tonight, featuring a welterweight tournament bout between Olympic wrestler Ben Askren and Ryan Thomas, as well as a lightweight scrap between inverted triangle choker Toby Imada and James Krause, and a featherweight bout between Wilson Reis and Shad Lierley.  The TV portion of the card kicks off at 7 pm local time and airs live-ish, depending on where you live, on Fox Sports Net, so check your local schedule for details.

While you wait, why not check out last week’s fight between Roger Huerta and Chad Hinton after the jump.

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Bellator’s Upcoming Welterweight Tourney Could Be Nasty


(Jim Wallhead vs. Marius Buzinskas, 9/5/09)

Bellator’s second season is slated to kick off on April 8th, and while there are still many questions yet to be answered — will the weight classes be different this time? will last year’s champions re-enter the brackets, or will they only be used for one-off title fights? — a cluster of recent reports suggest that the 2010 welterweight tournament will be stacked with talented fight-finishers. Among the 170-pounders who have reportedly signed on are…

Dan Hornbuckle (19-2): The Indiana native captured our attention this year with memorable knockouts of Akihiro Gono and Nick Thompson in Sengoku. 18 of his 19 victories have come by stoppage. He has a black belt in intensity.

Ben Askren (3-0): He’s a rookie in the MMA scene, but Askren comes from an incredibly decorated amateur wrestling background that culminated in a spot on the 2008 U.S. Olympic team. All three of his wins came via first-round stoppage.

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Interview: Ben Askren Talks Bellator Signing and His Refusal to Give Up On Dreams of Wrestling Greatness

(Askren’s most recent fight vs. Matt Delanoit, 8/28/09. Props: Pure Fight.)

Ben Askren was a four-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri and an Olympic hopeful at the 2008 Summer Games in Beijing. He came home without a medal, his dreams temporarily dashed, and has since turned his focus toward MMA, racking up a 3-0 record in smaller promotions. But now the former wrestling standout has signed on to compete in Bellator’s welterweight tournament in the spring of 2010, though that doesn’t mean he’s forgetting all about his goals in the world of wrestling. Far from it, in fact. He seems to think he can someday be the best in the world at both MMA and wrestling, and nobody can talk him out of it.

CagePotato.com: You’re one of the more well known wrestlers. You were a two-time national champ at Missouri and you got a lot of press heading into the Olympics. What made you decide to sign with Bellator?

It’s the best offer I had right now. They made me a good offer and they said they’d let me keep wrestling on the side, so that played a big part in my decision.

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