Bellator 117: Douglas Lima Believes Power Advantage is His, But Expecting “Explosive” Title Fight With Rick Hawn
By Kelsey Mowatt
While many people believed that Douglas Lima would secure a rematch with Ben Askren at some juncture, due to the former champ’s departure, Lima will face another man for Bellator’s welterweight belt. This Friday night, Lima will battle Rick Hawn for the promotion’s vacant welterweight championship, who just like him, has won not one, but two Bellator tournaments.
“He’s a great fighter; he’s got that Judo Olympic background,” Lima noted about Hawn on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “He doesn’t really use it a lot, but he has it, so you have to watch out for that. He’s got fast hands, doesn’t really kick a lot, but some really powerful, fast hands.”
Hawn began his Bellator tenure competing at 170, but after advancing to the tourney finals in 2011, he lost by split decision to Jay Hieron. The 37 year-old dropped to lightweight the following year, and after winning that division’s tournament, Hawn was submitted by now former champ, Michael Chandler. The loss prompted Hawn to return to welterweight, and last November, he won that division’s tourney by knocking out Ron Keslar.
“I didn’t think he was going to be as powerful at welterweight, like he was at 55, but he’s showed that he can knock people out, whichever weight class,” Lima said about Hawn. “So I’m just preparing for everything, he’s a good opponent, and I think it’s going to be a great fight. The fans are going to enjoy it, we’re both coming off knockout wins, so I think we’re going to deliver a very exciting and explosive fight.”
While Lima was quick to credit Hawn for the power he possess, “The Phenom” is also a feared finisher. Since arriving in Bellator, Lima has recorded knockouts or TKO’s in six of his seven victories, including two stoppage wins over Ben Saunders. Not only that, but Lima has competed at 180 pounds during his run with Bellator, and should be the much bigger man on April 18th.
“I think I have a little bit more power and definitely some size over him,” said Lima. “But I’m not really thinking about that right now, I’m just going to concentrate on what I’m going to do. I know what I have to do, but I do feel like I have more power and more size than him, so that’s going to help me out in the fight.”
“He’s also a little fast for the weight class,” added the 26 year-old fighter, who also relayed he cuts “a lot of weight” to make 170. “So it’s just a 50-50 thing, it’s just going to matter how the game plan is going to go.”
It will be interesting to see how the 5’9 tall Hawn approaches the 6’1 Lima, considering his own grappling abilities and the stopping skills of the ATT Atlanta fighter.
“I believe so; I believe he’s going to try to clinch more,” said Lima, when asked if he’s predicting Hawn will look to close the distance. “He’s definitely going to trade some but he’s not going to stay there the whole time, that’s what I think. He’s going to mix it up, clinch, try to get me tired. I know that’s the kind of game plan that he’s thinking. I’m prepared for all that.”
The Lima-Hawn bout will headline Bellator 117, which will be hosted by the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa. The main card will be broadcast on SPIKE TV.
You can read up on Lima’s championship aspirations and his thoughts on Askren’s departure by heading here.