Bellator welterweight tournament finalist Rick Hawn spoke to the Boston Herald in the wake of his razor-thin split decision loss to Jay Hieron on Bellator 43, and his opinion on things was quite refreshing. In an MMA world where fighters seemingly dispute every semi-close decision, Hawn was brutally honest in his assessment of his performance. He didn't think he was winning the fight going into the third, and he didn't feel like he won the fight after the decision either:
"I thought I was down from what my corner was telling me. He was running away so I wasn't really connecting with anything solid," Hawn said. "My corner was telling me I needed a knockout or a finish, which is pretty much the way I felt. I knew I was down."
"No, I just felt like I didn't do enough," he said. "I haven't watched it yet but when I go back and watch it again it'll probably be different. It was frustrating to not be able to connect on him because he was back pedaling so much. I can't be mad at anyone but myself. I didn't finish the fight. If I did, none of these conversations would be going on."
Hawn was frustrated at how it went down, like any fighter would be. He did make a rather curious statement in regards to how internet fans judged the fight, however:
"Obviously it sucks to lose like that," Hawn said. "It's one thing to lose if you got out and get knocked out. To have it be so close I guess and 99 percent of the people who are on the online forums said I won that fight."
Once again though, Hawn showed class and a positive attitude in regards to the loss, and gave some insight on his future in Bellator:
"At the end of the day, maybe it's for the better. In terms of financially [Hawn made $75,000 for his tournament run] and just mentally and physically. I was told that I'm going to be back in the tournament in September," Hawn said. "Jay has a lot of experience. It was better than losing to a bum."
Welterweight is undoubtedly the deepest division Bellator has, and the season five tournament is shaping up to be their most stacked one yet. Along with a very good bantamweight tournament that's almost filled already, the fall promises to bring a plethora of entertaining fights to the Bellator cage.