The main event of Bellator 117 is a five-round title fight for the vacant Bellator welterweight championship between Douglas “The Phenom” Lima and Rick “Genghis” Hawn. The current betting line for the fight at Several Bookmakers lists Lima as as a -210 favorite (bet $210 to win $100) while Hawn is a +190 underdog (bet $100 to win $190). MMA oddsmaker Nick Kalikas originally opened up Lima at -210 and Hawn at +160, and there has been slight back-and-forth action on the bout as the line has tightened. I’m surprised that there has been so little line movement in Lima’s matchup in this matchup as I expected big money to come in on “The Phenom,” who I’m definitely picking to win the fight. Here’s why. Lima (25-5) won the Bellator season five and season eight welterweight tournaments. The 26-year-old is a knockout artist who holds notable career victories over Clint Hester, Ben Saunders (x2), Steve Carl, and Ryan Ford, all of whom are very solid fighters. The former MFC welterweight champion is 7-1 overall in Bellator with six of those wins coming via way of brutal knockout, and the only loss coming in his title fight against the undefeated Ben Askren. But outside of getting outwrestled by Askren, Lima has been nothing short of spectacular in Bellator and I truly believe he would be one of the top 15 welterweights in the UFC. He has excellent takedown defence, fantastic hands, incredible kicks, underrated submissions, and he can go a full 15 or 25 minutes without slowing down despite throwing power shots for the whole fight. In short, he is an absolute beast of a fighter and it makes sense that he is the favorite to capture the vacant Bellator welterweight title. Hawn (18-2) was a US Olympian in judo and has transferred his skills very well so far since making his MMA debut five years ago. In his Bellator career, Hawn is 10-2 overall with tournament wins at both lightweight and welterweight and victories over the likes of Karo Parisyan, Lyman Good, Brent Weedman, Ron Keslar and Jim Wallhead. Although he is 37 years old, Hawn is young in fight years and hasn’t taken much damage in his career to date. He is a very solid boxer with big punching power and his judo is fantastic both offensively to take his opponents to the floor and defensively to keep fights standing. However, while he did win the welterweight tournament, he is still undersized at 170 and going up against an elite fighter like Lima he will likely have trouble taking him to the floor. And while Hawn has looked good in the standup in most of his fights, not many fighters have had success against Lima on the feet, and he will likely be in danger should this fight take place in the standup. Although Hawn is a good boxer, Lima is even better than him and I think the only way Hawn wins is if he can get the fight to the floor. However, I believe Lima can stop Hawn’s judo throws, keep the fight on the feet for the majority of 25 minutes, and outbox his opponent en route to either a decision or a knockout victory to become the new Bellator welterweight champion. At -210, I like Lima for a bet as I figured he would be a much higher favorite in this spot and I see good value in him at the current number. He’s in my opinion the most underrated welterweight in mixed martial arts and in this particular fight he will have a size advantage and a striking advantage. Hawn is an excellent fighter as well, but he’s too small to compete with the elite at 170 pounds and at 37 years of age it’s only a matter of time that his chin gives out, and I just think this is a bad matchup for him. So I definitely like Lima here. I like him a lot.