An expected fireworks show turned out to be a one-sided contest at Bellator 117 as Douglas Lima was crowned as the organization’s new welterweight champion. His main event bout against Rick Hawn was halted in round two when Hawn’s corner called for a halt to the proceedings. Lima put on a devastating leg kick display and captured the title that had previously been held by Ben Askren.
Lima dominated the fight with his kicking game, chopping down Hawn in a clinical and brutally effective manner. The Brazilian was in control from the start as he began to find the range with his kicks and strikes. Hawn did a lot of circling around the cage and never found his range, landing only a couple of punches. Lima’s damaging low kicks began to take their toll late in the opening stanza as he dropped Hawn on a couple of occasions and mixed in a solid knee to the body.
The end came in the second round after Hawn was repeatedly sent to the canvas by Lima leg kicks. Hawn had more difficulty getting to his feet each time that “The Phenom” allowed him to stand up. Finally, Hawn’s corner had seen him absorb enough punishment and asked the referee to halt the proceedings at the 3:19 mark.
It was a very strong performance by Lima, who has now reeled off five impressive stoppage victories since losing a lopsided decision to the former champion Askren at Bellator 64. He’s an explosive finisher with 23 of his 26 career victories having come by way of knockout or submission. His fighting style is the complete opposite to Askren’s grinding ways.
The 37-year-old Hawn dropped to 18-3 with the defeat. He won Bellator’s Season 9 welterweight tournament with an impressive knockout of Ron Keslar, but never got on track against the dangerous Lima. He did show a tremendous amount of heart, but was simply overmatched. It was his second failed bid to win a Bellator title, having lost a previous lightweight affair against then-champion Michael Chandler.
Lima has developed into a scary proposition for anyone in Bellator’s 170-pound weight division. He’s at the top of his game right now, having won 14 of his last 15 fights, and it will take an outstanding performance to dethrone him.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports