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Jay Hieron Beats Rick Hawn, Wins Bellator Welterweight Tournament

aJay Hieron won a very close split decision victory over Rick Hawn Saturday night, taking the Bellator Season 4 welterweight tournament title.

The fight easily could have gone to Hawn, and one judge said it should have, scoring it 29-28 for Hawn. The other two judges scored it 29-28 for Hieron, who credited his training for getting him into the kind of shape he needed to be in to win three fights in Bellator's eight-man welterweight tournament.

"I just train my butt off, man," Hieron said. "No matter what's going on, I'm in the gym sweating."

Hieron improved his record to 22-4 and is now on a 10-fight winning streak. The previously undefeated Hawn falls to 11-1.

Hieron is now the No. 1 contender for Ben Askren's Bellator welterweight championship, and Hieron called out Askren in the cage after the fight.

"Askren, shine up my belt for me," Hieron said. "I'm coming for it."

Saturday night's other Bellator fights on MTV2 all had exciting finishes: Bryan Baker dropped Joe Riggs with a brutal left hand to the chin to win a second-round TKO. David Rickels submitted Richard Bouphanouvong with a second-round triangle choke. Chase Beebe submitted Jose Vega with a guillotine in the first round, and Ron Sparks submitted Vince Lucero with a keylock in the first round.

The question for Bellator, as always, is whether putting good fighters like Hieron and Hawn in the cage was enough to attract attention beyond a small number of hard-core MMA fans. On a night when Manny Pacquiao vs. Shane Mosley is the top attraction for fight fans, it's hard for Bellator to draw viewers with Jay Hieron vs. Rick Hawn.

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