The Bellator welterweight tournament for their upcoming fourth season has unofficially been set, as Jay Hieron will meet Steve Carl (pictured on the right) in a welterweight quarter-final bout set for an event on March 5.
Neither the bout nor the show has been officially announced by the promotion, and the venue remains unknown. MMAJunkie.com on Saturday was first to report the Hieron-Carl matchup, and Sherdog subsequently confirmed it with sources close to the negotiations, so that’s good enough for me to report about it at least. Pending complete confirmation of this, the eight-man tournament for a shot at Ben Askren’s welterweight title has been filled up. Carl and Hieron join Dan Hornbuckle, Rick Hawn, Brent Weedman, Chris Lozano, Jim Wallhead and former champion Lyman Good competing in season four.
The last IFL welterweight champion, Hieron has won his last seven bouts, including a two-fight stint in Strikeforce in 2010. A three-time Bellator competitor, Iraq War veteran Carl has won nine of his last 10 contests.
Season four marks an important one for Bellator FC, as they will be now carried on four new channels this year – MTV2, FX, Fox Sports Net, and Fuel TV. As for their live event locations, Bellator has been notorious for taking their sweet time announcing things like that, so we are just going to have to be patient. Luckily, Bellator has been worth the wait thus far and I don’t expect to be disappointed, especially from looking at the talent expected to compete this season.