On Friday, April 18, Bellator MMA hosted its 117th event from the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

In the night’s main event, the promotion’s vacant welterweight title was up for grabs as a pair of two-time tournament winners locked horns. Season five and season eight tournament winner Douglas Lima again challenged for 170-pound gold, having fallen short in his previous quest against former champion Ben Askren. His opponent, Rick Hawn, also was seeking a Bellator title once again. The Olympic judoka won the season six lightweight tournament, but was submitted by Michael Chandler. He rebounded to win the season nine welterweight tourney and earn his place opposite Lima.

Also on the card, the promotion held the semifinals of the season 10 lightweight tournament. In one half of the ladder, Brazilian Patricky “Pitbull” Freire faced off with Derek Campos, while Derek Anderson and Marcin Held met in the other half of the bracket.

Other notables on the card included former title challenger Karl Amoussou, UFC veterans Houston Alexander, Ryan Jensen and Anthony Smith, as well as former RFA champion Jared Downing.

The night’s preliminary card kicked off at 7 p.m. ET on Spike.com. The four-fight main card aired live on Spike TV beginning at 9 p.m. ET.

Douglas Lima chopped down Rick Hawn with leg kicks to win the vacant welterweight championship. Early in the first round it looked like we might see a long feeling out between the two welterweights. Both fighters looked to gauge the range and striking of the other man, but once Lima settled in it was only a matter of time before the finish. Lima dropped Hawn with a leg kick late in the round and began to pour it on from there. Every leg kick that landed from Lima put Hawn on his back. Lima chose to let Hawn get up every time instead of engaging in the ground game. Lima was close to earning a stoppage late in the first, but Hawn was saved by the bell. Lima went right back to work in round two. Hawn continued to be a game opponent and move forward, but it was clear that the leg kicks had taken their toll. After putting Hawn down again due to a kick, Hawn’s corner had decided they had seen enough and threw in the towel before their fighter could suffer anymore damage.

After searching for submissions for a round and a half, Marcin Held finally locked in a triangle choke and forced Derek Anderson to tap. Held got the fight to the ground early in round one and advanced his position until he felt comfortable selling out on one of his signature leg locks. Anderson stayed composed and even made Held pay for it with some ground-and-pound. Held continued to look for that leg lock all throughout the round, but he was never able to lock it up. Early in the second it was Anderson who took the fight to the ground. Anderson paid for it as Held locked up a triangle choke for the win. Held advanced to his second tournament final where he  will face fellow Bellator mainstay, Patricky “Pitbull” Freire, as part of the preliminary card of Bellator’s May 17 pay-per-view event.

Karl Amoussou outworked David Gomez to get back on the winning track. Amoussou had been on a two-fight losing streak, including a loss in a title fight to former champion, Ben Askren. Amoussou was the more aggressive and accurate fighter throughout. Amoussou got the better of the striking game in the first round and found himself close to earning a submission via leg lock multiple times in the second round. The third was probably the most competitive round of the three. The two fighters went back and forth with the striking game, but Amoussou earned the round with his ability to press Campos up against the cage. The judges took a while to render their decision, but when they did Amoussou got the nod via split decision.

Patricky “Pitbull” Freire punched his ticket to the lightweight tournament finale by finishing Derek Campos in the second round. Campos had success on the feet against the Brazilian in the first round. He was moving forward and finding a home for his punches. Freire came out aggressive in round two, just like he did in the first round of the lightweight tournament. He caught Campos with a left jab and a right hand behind the ear and finished off the fight with ground and pound. Pitbull will look to join the growing list of challengers in the lightweight division when he fights for the tournament crown later on this spring.

Douglas Lima def. Rick Hawn by corner stoppage (leg kicks). Round 2, 3:09– for vacant welterweight title
Patricky “Pitbull” Freire def. Derek Campos by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 0:52 – lightweight tournament semifinal
Marcin Held def. Derek Anderson by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 3:09 – lightweight tournament semifinal
Karl Amoussou def. David Gomez by split decision (28-29, 29-28, 29-28)
Houston Alexander def. Matt Uhde by TKO (doctor’s stoppage). Round 2, 5:00
Ryan Jensen def. Mark Stoddard by submission (arm triangle choke). Round 1, 3:52
Martin Trey Brown def. Jared Downing by unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Larue Burley def. Cliff Wright Jr. by unanimous decision (29-27, 29-28, 29-27)
Joe Vedepo def. Ben Crowder by verbal submission (knee injury). Round 1, 0:48
Anthony Smith def. Victor Moreno by submission (triangle choke). Round 2, 0:59
Julio Cesar Neves def. Josh Arocho by TKO (strikes). Round 2, 2:37
Jordan Parsons def. Tim Bazer by knockout (punch). Round 2, 0:04

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.