With the release of former Bellator welterweight champion Ben Askren, Bellator has been left without a champion and without a face for their welterweight division. Next season on Bellator that will all change when Rick Hawn fights Douglas Lima for the crown.
Hawn defeating Ron Keslar on Nov. 22 was the best thing that could have happened for Bellator at the moment second only to Michael Chandler losing to Eddie Alvarez almost guaranteeing a rubber match. The fact Hawn was able to win the fight by KO was just icing on the cake.
Knockouts and brawls always leave a delicious taste in the mouths of Bellator and MMA fans alike. The fight between Hawn and Lima will do the same. Hawn has terrific boxing and isn’t afraid to bang with the best of them. Lima has literally knocked out every opponent he has stepped into the Bellator cage against with the exception of Askren and Steve Carl.
It’s hard to imagine that either fighter will attempt to alter their style of fighting in an attempt to catch the other off guard. If one had to choose, Hawn would probably be the most likely to attempt to make the fight a ground battle. With his judo background, Hawn at least has the repertoire to make Lima think twice about trying something explosive or unorthodox.
Given the fact Hawn is giving up size and power to Lima, he will be a little disadvantaged in the bout. He doesn’t have the one punch knockout power he had at lightweight, but as proven in the Keslar fight he has the ability to follow up with strikes if he dazes an opponent.
No matter if Hawn will stand with Lima or not, the fight has all the potential to be a possible fight of the year candidate if both fighters initiate battle like they have in the past. The winner will be a perfect champion and face for Bellator.