Hornbuckle was generally recognized as the favorite to win Bellator's Season 2 welterweight tournament, but he was upset in the final against Ben Askren. He'll fight for the first time since that loss when he takes on Blackburn, a UFC veteran with a 3-2 record inside the Octagon and a 15-11 record overall.
"Hornbuckle is a top-level fighter with a great record. I'm excited to fight him, but I'm not scared of anyone's striking in MMA," Blackburn said. "I've been around for a long time, wherever this fight goes, I'll be comfortable. If he wants to stand and bang, let's do it."
The Bellator 25 card will also feature two first-round fights in the promotion's Season 3 heavyweight tournament, with the undefeated Polish fighter Damien Grabowski taking on Scott Barrett, and two-time NCAA heavyweight wrestling champion Cole Konrad fighting Rogent Lloret. In a first-round women's 115-pound tournament fight, Jessica Pene will take on Zoila Frausto.
Other fights expected to take place on the card include Shonie Carter vs. Torrance Taylor, Brian Gassaway vs. Kevin Knabjian, Keoki Cypriano vs. Eric Kriegermeier and Mark Miller vs. Josh Shockley.
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