This Friday, Bellator will crown their third new champion of 2014 as Douglas Lima and Rick Hawn battle to determine who will be the successor to the most decorated champion in the organization’s history. Ben Askren held the welterweight title for over three years, and was the only Bellator champion to defend his title successfully four times, so whoever emerges from this match has quite the pair of shoes to fill. This event will also determine the final of the season 10 lightweight tournament, as Marcin Held takes on Derek Anderson and Patricky Freire meets Derek Campos in the semifinals of the eight man tournament. Kicking off the main card is former tournament champion Karl Amoussou looking to rebound from two consecutive losses as he takes on late addition David Gomez. The undercard also features a couple of bright spots, and no, I’m not talking about Houston Alexander. One of the most intriguing prospects in MMA today, 28-0 Julio Cesar Neves, makes his Bellator debut against Josh Arocho. Larue Burley, who most will remember as “that guy who beat Bubba Jenkins,” also makes his first appearance since that massive upset. All of the action from Bellator 117 can been seen on Spike TV (main card) or Spike.com (prelims). Today, MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas opened the betting lines for Bellator 117 at Several Bookmakers. Take a look: ——————– MAIN CARD (Spike TV, 9pm ET) Bellator Welterweight Title Douglas Lima -210 Rick Hawn +160 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Patricky Freire -150 Derek Campos +110 Lightweight Tournament Semifinal Marcin Held -170 Derek Anderson +130 Karl Amoussou -405 David Gomez +285 ——————– Brad’s Analysis: If Rick Hawn had the cardio to employ a grappling heavy gameplan for five rounds, I might give him a shot in this bout. He doesn’t. As a result he’s going to have to strike with the far more varied, powerful and longer Douglas Lima. That does not bode well for a 37-year-old fighting above his best weight class. Hawn has only been stopped once in his career, by Michael Chandler who submitted him, but I think Lima becomes the first man to stop him with strikes on Friday night. The lightweight tournament, as per usual, is one of the better ones Bellator has put on this season. Aside from Patricky Freire upsetting David Rickels, the first round went just about how it was expected to, and as a result, the semifinal bouts are quite good. In the first semi, I see Derek Campos doing what Rickels refused to, wrestling in order to wear ‘Pitbull’ down. Obviously we’ve seen that Patricky is dangerous, but he’s also very flawed and Campos is the type of fighter who can exploit his flaws if he approaches it the right way. The other semi is very interesting. Even though Marcin Held has improved his striking a great deal, he’s still at a disadvantage to Derek Anderson on the feet, and he’ll have more trouble getting Anderson to the mat than he’s probably comfortable with. Held is still the rightful favorite, and his reliance on leg submission attacks mitigates some of his wrestling weaknesses, but at this price he’s definitely not a fighter I’m comfortable playing. This bout isn’t quite as blatant as the matchmaking Bellator used to get Mikkel Parlo a win a couple weeks ago, but it seems clear who they want to win this bout, and I expect that Amoussou will come through. Gomez’ record doesn’t look particularly bad, but he’s been competitive with a number of fighters who have records hovering around .500, and lacks the overall game of Amoussou. In his only real notable bout he was on the defensive for the entirety of 15 minutes against Andrey Koreshkov, offering nothing in response to Koreshkov’s strikes. Amoussou is a big favorite, and he’s rightfully a big favorite.