Bellator 117 comes to fans from Council Bluffs, Iowa this Friday night and this card will determine who will usher in a new era of the 170-pound Bellator class as it enters its’ Post-Ben Askren days with a welterweight championship bout for the vacant title.
Kicking off the main card that will air live on Spike TV will be David Gomez (16-7) in a welterweight clash against flashy frenchman Karl Amoussou (16-6-2).
Gomez is a longtime KOTC veteran having 17 fights inside of the promotion and winning 13 of them, in his last outing he defeated Quinton McCottrell at KOTC: Beaten Path on March 6th via a tko in the 2nd round.
Karl will welcome Gomez into Bellator after he failed in his last run at the 170-pound strap. Karl won the season 6 tournament but couldn’t get past longtime Bellator welterweight champ Ben Askren, then fell short against Paul Bradley at Bellator 104.
Following this featured bout, the semi-finals of the lightweight tournament begin.
The Polish Prodigy Marcin Held (17-3) takes on the dominant dark horse Derek Anderson (11-0).
Both performed virtually flawless in their Quartfinal matchups at Bellator 113. Held winning by toe hold just a minute into round 1 over Rodrigo Cavalheiro and Derek rearranging Brandon Girtz face by an earth shattering knee just seconds into round 2 of their bout.
Will Held make it to another lightweight final? Or will ‘The Barbarian’ remove the Pole from the tournament and possibly face Patricky a second time?
Speaking of the Pitbull…
Since the decision loss to Anderson, he’s gone 2-0 and recently silenced the crowd in the Star Arena as he cold-cocked the Caveman and local favorite, Kansas native, Dave Rickels in just under a minute into round 2 in their quarterfinal matchup.
He will now face Derek Campos (14-3), the KOTC 156 lb. title holder who is fresh off a quarterfinal decision win over Tim Welch.
Then in the main event, a new Bellator Welterweight will be crowned Champion.
Rick Hawn (18-2) is 2-1 in Bellator tournament finals, translation: he’s 9-1 in tournament bouts, 10-1 if you count his qualifier bout. The only issue is he’s 0-1 in his only Bellator Title fight, which was a at 155 pounds against current lightweight number 1 contender Michael Chandler. For this oppurtunity, Hawn has gone through Herman Terrado and Brent Weedman both by unanimous decision at Bellator 100 and 104, then he knocked Ron Keslar out in the 3rd round for the Season 9 final at Bellator 109.
Can Hawn overcome the Title hump?
That “hump” may as well be Everest, because Douglas Lima (25-5) is ready to send him back down to the list of contenders once more.
Lima came into the Season 8 Welterweight Tournament like a wrecking ball. After he lost his 170-pound title fight to Ben Askren, Lima began a warpath back to the top.
Four straight knockouts over Jacob Ortiz in round 3 at Bellator 79, quarterfinal over Michail Tsarev in round 2 at Bellator 86, semi final dropping Bryan Baker in the first at Bellator 90 then dismantling Ben Saunders in their second welterweight finals matchup in 2 rounds at Bellator 100.
By the way, Lima is a perfect 6-0 in tournament bouts and has won two tournaments as well.
I did the math for you. A 15-1 tournament record between them and for trivia’s sake, the 1 blemish came when Hawn lost to highly controversial split decsion to Jay Heiron way back at Bellator 43.
Life after Ben begins, and as always Bellator didn’t pick the pair to combat to replace him, they fought their way into the opportunity.