Following Matthew Riddle and Mark Scanlon pulling out of their welterweight tournament bouts with injuries, Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar have been place into the season nine tournament.
Bellator officials announced the change on Monday as Hawn will meet Herman Terrado and Keslar will face Sergio Junior in the opening round of the welterweight tournament on Friday night at Bellator 100.
Bellator 100 will take place from the Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix, Arizona and will be headlined by the final of the season eight welterweight tournament as Douglas Lima meets Ben Saunders.
“We are only three weeks into our season, and it’s no secret our tournaments have been hit hard with injury,” Bellator Chairman & CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “With that said, it speaks to the depth we’ve created here to be able to add in talent like Rick Hawn and Ron Keslar less than a week before the fight. This is still an incredibly deep field of talent, and Friday should be a great night of fights.”
Hawn (15-2) is taking the place of Scanlon in this tournament and this will be his second welterweight tournament appearance and his third Bellator tournament. He was a finalist in the season four welterweight tournament and he won the season six lightweight tournament.
Following his defeat against lightweight champion Michael Chandler at the beginning of the year, he returned at Bellator 95 in April and defeated Karo Parisyan by knockout in the second round. He was targeted to be in the next lightweight tournament in 2014, but he is taking advantage of the opportunity to get in this welterweight tournament.
“I’m just excited to back in the Bellator Tournament again and looking forward to fighting at welterweight and making a run in this tournament. I’ve done it before and I’ll do it again. The field is really deep this season, I know it’s going to be a tough road.”
Keslar (9-4) is a former Strikeforce fighter and he will be making his Bellator debut as he replaces Riddle against Junior. After losing back to back fights in 2010, he has won his four in a row including a win over Eric Lawson in his last fight in Strikeforce.
The full Bellator 100: Lima vs. Saunders II fight card is below.
Main Card: (Spike TV – 9 p.m. ET/6 p.m. PT)
Ben Saunders (16-5) vs. Douglas Lima (24-5)
Vaughn Anderson (16-1-1) vs. War Machine (13-4) *
Rick Hawn (15-2) vs. Herman Terrado (11-2) *
Justin Baesman (14-3) vs. Brent Weedman (21-8-1) *
Sergio Junior (29-11) vs. Ron Keslar (9-4) *
Preliminary Card: (Spike.com – 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT)
Brandon Bender (11-0) vs. Travis Marx (20-4)
LaRue Burley (2-0) vs. Bubba Jenkins (4-0)
Liam McGeary (4-0) vs. Beau Tribolet (7-2)
Dan Charles (6-0) vs. Siala Mou Siliga (3-2)
Johnny Buck (12-8) vs. Adam McDonough (8-0)
Clifford Starks (8-2) vs. Joe Yager (5-2)
Zack Surdyka (5-1) vs. Efrain Escudero (19-7)