Douglas Lima (pictured) and Rick Hawn won their respective Bellator welterweight tournaments to earn a crack at the crown. The two will still get their title shot, but they won’t have to fight the champion for the belt because Ben Askren relinquished the throne when his contract expired.
On Tuesday, it was announced Lima and Hawn will battle for the vacant 170-pound hardware on April 18.
Lima will be riding a four-fight winning streak into the shootout. He took Bellator’s season 8 tourney by knocking out Ben Saunders in September.
“This fight with Hawn is going to be very explosive, I think everyone is aware of that,” Lima said. “I really can’t describe how excited I am for this World Title shot. I’m bringing this belt home, and it’s not leaving me for a long time.”
Hawn is also perfect through his past four bouts. He won Bellator’s season 9 tournament with November’s KO victory over Ron Keslar.
“It’s great to be back in title contention and going for that belt,” Hawn said. “There is no question Douglas is an incredibly gifted fighter. In terms of his size and skill, this will probably be the toughest fight of my career, and I’m ready for that.”
Iowa’s Mid-America Center hosts the festivities. Spike TV broadcasts the main card starting at 9PM ET/PT.
No other fights have been reported for the lineup.