When we think about great MMA fights, the UFC comes to mind more times than not. The only exception to that rule in recent years was the first encounter between Michael Chandler and Eddie Alvarez (the second fight was good, but it was no match for the original). Bellator’s second chance for a great match-up comes Friday when Rick Hawn battles Douglas Lima for the vacant Bellator welterweight title.
Both Hawn and Lima are great athletes, and both are content with keeping the fight standing. Hawn, although he is a former Olympic judoka, has plenty of power in his hands. The proof lies in his results (11 of his 18 victories are by KO/TKO). In his last outing, Hawn finished Ron Keslar in the third round by KO.
The 26-year-old Lima is a different breed of athlete. During his time with Bellator, he has proven to be quite the lethal striker. His leg kicks can be devastating, as can all of his strikes. Prior to his days in Bellator, he also proved to have a decent ground game as well. In his most recent bout against Ben Saunders, Lima finished the fight with a head kick KO in the second round.
Both men have been in this position before as well. In April 2012, Lima fought Ben Askren for the title and lost by unanimous decision. Hawn failed to take the lightweight strap from Chandler in January 2013 when he fell victim to a rear-naked choke.
If Hawn and Lima’s past few fights are indicative of what’s to come, Bellator fans may just get to see one heck of a stand-up war. That is one thing MMA fans love more than anything. Will it be the second coming of Chandler/Alvarez? No, but it has the potential to be pretty close.