Douglas Lima will have a second chance at Bellator gold. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Bellator MMA tournament winners Douglas Lima and Rick Hawn will square off for the company’s vacant welterweight title at Bellator 117.
Bellator officials Tuesday announced the booking, which headlines the April 18 event at Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The evening’s main card airs live on Spike TV, while the preliminary card streams immediately prior on Spike.com.
Bellator’s welterweight title became vacant in November when Bellator declined to re-sign Ben Askren, resulting in Askren inking a deal with the Singapore-based One Fighting Championship.
A two-time tournament winner, Lima has lost just once in his last 14 outings, suffering a unanimous decision defeat to Askren in 2012. Following that setback, “The Phenom” rattled off four consecutive victories, knocking out Michail Tsarev, Bryan Baker and Ben Saunders to capture the Season 8 crown.
Hawn began his Bellator career at 170 pounds but dropped to lightweight after coming up short in the Season 4 final. The judoka then won the Season 6 lightweight tournament before submitting to then-champion Michael Chandler one year ago. Hawn subsequently returned to welterweight in Season 9, outpointing Herman Terrado and Brent Weedman before knocking out Ron Keslar on Nov. 22 to earn his crack at the vacant belt.