Michael Chandler will defend his Bellator lightweight title for the first time Thursday when he meets Rick Hawn in the main event of Bellator 85.
Both Chandler and Hawn were cleared to compete at Wednesday’s pre-fight weigh-ins, checking in at 154.6 and 155 pounds, respectively.
Bellator 85, which kicks off the promotion’s eighth season, takes place at the UCI Bren Center in Irvine, Calif., and will also see Pat Curran (144.8) put his featherweight strap on the line against Patricio “Pitbull” Freire (144.5). The evening’s Spike TV-broadcast main card is rounded out by a light heavyweight tournament quarterfinal between Mikhail Zayats (205.7) and Renato “Babalu” Sobral (205.3).
Immediately prior to the main draw broadcast, the show’s preliminary card streams live on Spike.com and is highlighted by two more light heavyweight quarterfinals pitting Seth Petruzelli (204.8) against Jacob Noe (205.9) and Emanuel Newton (205.4) against Atanas Djambazov (205.6).
Chandler, 26, last saw action this past May, when he trounced retiring veteran Akihiro Gono in a 56-second drubbing at Bellator 67. Known for his excellent wrestling and powerful linear punching attack, Chandler owns four knockouts and four submissions to his credit and has yet to taste defeat in more than three years as a pro.
Hawn earned his crack at Chandler’s title by winning the Season 6 lightweight tournament, dropping down from 170 pounds to best Ricardo Tirloni, Lloyd Woodard and Brent Weedman last spring. A 2004 Olympic judoka, Hawn’s dynamite right hand has guided him to nine knockout victories in 15 career appearances, with his lone loss coming to ex-IFL champion Jay Hieron in the Season 4 welterweight tournament finals.
Bellator 85 Weigh-in Results
Michael Chandler (154.6) vs. Rick Hawn (155)
Pat Curran (144.8) vs. Patricio Freire (144.5)
Mikhail Zayats (205.7) vs. Renato Sobral (205.3)
Seth Petruzelli (204.8) vs. Jacob Noe (205.9)
Emanuel Newton (205.4) vs. Atanas Djambazov (205.6)
Hector Ramirez (204.8) vs. Jason Lambert (205.5)
Aaron Miller (145.8) vs. Joe Camacho (145.8)
Jamie Yager (170.8) vs. Joe Williams (170.7)
Michael Guymon (155.7) vs. Savant Young (155.5)
J.J. Ambrose (164.5) vs. Brian Warren (165)
Cleber Luciano (144.9) vs. Mario Navarro (144.5)