Doug Lima and Rick Hawn for the Bellator Welterweight Title

Doug Lima and Rick Hawn for the Bellator Welterweight Title

Douglas Lima and Rick Hawn will collide in Iowa at Bellator 117 to crown a new welterweight champion.

The card was announced by officials on Tuesday for Friday, April 18 from the Mid-American Center in Council Bluffs. The main card airs on Spike TV.

Lima and Hawn will compete to replace Ben Askren, who vacated the belt after his contract expired.

“Without using too many cliché’s, Lima vs. Hawn is just a fight fans dream come true,” Bellator chairman and CEO Bjorn Rebney said. “Both of these are incredibly exciting to watch in the cage, and to have both of them set for a five round battle for our welterweight title is something I’m couldn’t be happier about.”

Lima has finished each of the last four fighters he has faced, including tournament wins over Bryan Baker and Ben Saunders.

“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.”

Like Lima, Hawn was a recent tourney champ, besting Ron Kesler in the finals.

“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. I know how exciting this fight is going to be, and I’m just ready for April 18 to get here.”

So far, this is the only bout announced by the promotion.