Bellator crowned a new welterweight champion Friday night as Douglas Lima absolutely annihilated Rick Hawn.
While Hawn is one of Bellator's winningest fighters, owning a 10-2 record entering the night, he has found most of his success as a lightweight. He has looked seriously undersized against true welterweights, and the difference in raw power between Hawn and Lima was apparent from the get-go.
Lima chopped down Hawn with brutal leg kicks again and again. By the second round, Lima was putting Hawn on the canvas at will. Eventually, the ref asked Hawn's corner if they wanted to throw in the towel, and they quickly conceded defeat.
After the horrible display at RFA last week where a fighter was tossed back into the fight after passing out between rounds (read Matt Roth's full breakdown here), this was a refreshing display of intelligence by a corner in MMA.
Lima is now on a downright scary five-fight winning streak with all those wins coming by knockout or TKO. It is worth noting, however, that Lima's last loss came in lopsided fashion to Ben Askren, who took a unanimous 50-45 decision in 2012.
In addition to crowning a new welterweight champion, Bellator 117 also saw the season 10 lightweight tournament final bout set.
Who will win the lightweight tournament?
Longtime Bellator veteran Patricky Freire scored a crushing knockout victory over Derek Campos with a hard jab to the chin as Campos stepped in. While the American would survive the initial onslaught, a right hand behind the ear floored him a second time. From there, Freire pounced into mount position and rained punches down to seal the deal.
On the other side of the bracket, fellow mainstay Marcin Held scored an impressive submission win over Derek Anderson. Held is known for his sneaky leglocks, and he pounced on them early and often. While Anderson survived the first round, the second saw Held score a takedown from a 15-foot-long shot and then lock up a sexy triangle choke to get the tap.
Both Freire and Held debuted with Bellator in 2011 and have come up short in tournament finals before. Freire made it to the season four lightweight tournament finals, but he lost to eventual-champion Michael Chandler. Held, meanwhile, worked his way to the season seven lightweight tournament finals but would drop a decision to Dave Jansen (who has been waiting for his title shot for more than a year now).
They will face off later this year. However, given the fact that the lightweight belt is currently tangled up in the Eddie Alvarez vs. Michael Chandler rubber match, and Jansen is looking to get his shot in after that, it could be a very long time before they actually get their shot at gold.
Full results are as follows:
- Douglas Lima def. Rick Hawn via TKO (Round 2, 3:19)
- Patricky Freire def. Derek Campos via TKO (Round 2, 0:52)
- Marcin Held def. Derek Anderson via submission (triangle choke) (Round 2, 3:09)
- Karl Amoussou def. David Gomez via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Martin Brown def. Jared Downing via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
- LaRue Burley def. Cliff Wright Jr. via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-27, 29-28)
- Joe Vedepo def. Ben Crowder via verbal submission (injury) (Round 1, 0:48)
- Anthony Smith def. Victor Moreno via submission (triangle choke) (Round 2, 0:59)
- Julio Cesar Neves def. Josh Arocho via TKO (Round 2, 2:37)
- Jordan Parsons def. Tim Bazer via KO (Round 2, 0:04)