Bellator Fighting Championships on Monday added a Season 5 welterweight qualifier bout to its May 14 event in Atlantic City.
Former welterweight champion Lyman Good will square off with tournament mainstay Dan Hornbuckle at Bellator 44 with the winner set on a path back towards a potential title shot.
“Good vs. Hornbuckle is a fight a lot of MMA fans, myself included, have wanted to see for quite some time,” said Bellator Chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney. “These two guys have Bellator in their blood, and on May 14 one will move into our next tournament.”
Coming off a tough split decision loss at the hands of undefeated Judo Olympian Rick Hawn in the Bellator Season 4 Welterweight Tournament semifinals, Good was quick to give Hawn all the credit for the impressive victory, but also admitted he wasn’t fully prepared for his Bellator 39 fight.
“A lot of people didn’t know I had about a two week layoff before my fight with Rick because I got sick,” said a frustrated Good. “90 percent of a fight is always mental, and when I got in the cage, it never really felt like it was my fight.”
Good now looks to return to his winning ways as he collides with Hornbuckle, who himself is coming off a rare loss to Brent Weedman by unanimous decision at Bellator 35. While the loss is still upsetting to Hornbuckle, “The Handler” plans to unleash a new attack against the former champion.
“There’s no excuse for my loss to Brent Weedman,” said Hornbuckle. “It’s my fault for not pulling the trigger. I can only be mad at myself for not taking the opportunity to finish the fight. No more of that. This fight with Lyman, the proof will be in the pudding – mark my words. Just watch, as soon as that bell rings, I’m going to be sprinting dead at him and I’m going to put my knee dead in his face.”
Both fighters would relish a shot at current Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren. Good is the man that Askren defeated to win the belt. He also beat Hornbuckle in the Season 2 tournament finals to earn the fight with Good.
Bellator 44 is shaping up to be one of the strongest Bellator cards to date. The main event pits Bellator middleweight champion Hector Lombard in a non-title affair against UFC veteran Falaniko Vitale. In addition to the welterweight qualifier between Good and Hornbuckle, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire will square off with Mike Chandler in the Bellator Season 4 lightweight tournament final in Atlantic City.