Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov will meet again at Bellator 164 in Tel Avvi, Israel, on Nov. 10, and the Brazilian explains how the Bellator welterweight champion helped him prepare for the rematch.
Lima lost the 170-pound championship to Koreshkov when they battled for 25 minutes in July 2015, and told MMA Fighting that he made some cash betting on the Russian’s talent against Ben Henderson earlier this year.
"I knew he would beat Ben Henderson," Lima said. "Ben Henderson is too small, his only chance would be taking him down and he didn’t get anywhere near that. I know Koreshkov would beat him easily. He’s too big for him. I even made some money in this fight. And Koreshkov was the underdog! [laughs]"
Lima didn’t make much money, but it was enough to help him pay some coaches.
"I bet 200 bucks and won around 600," he said. "I usually don’t bet because we work hard for the money we make. I only bet when it’s guaranteed [laughs]. I used the money in my camp, to pay my coaches. (Koreshkov) is helping me pay my coaches for the rematch [laughs]."
Lima and Koreshkov only fought once since their bout at Bellator 140, with the Brazilian defeating Paul Daley and the Russian dominating Henderson. Ready for the rematch, Lima celebrates the fact that he’s injury-free going into the title bout.
"I’m happy because I was able to train this time, have a complete training camp now that I don’t have any injuries," said Lima, who dealt with a knee injury prior to Bellator 140. "It’s time to return the favor against this guy. I couldn’t even train that time. I was only doing boxing and conditioning. I couldn’t put my weight over the knee, but I needed the money. I cancelled two fights before that and I needed the money. I regret it today, but I had to take the fight because I needed the money. And we went the distance despite the injury, so I’m confident.
"It’s day and night. I can’t compare. I had no confidence," he continued. "I was afraid I could get injured again. I wasn’t worried about the fight itself. I only worried about not getting injured again. I’m fine now. I’m feeling as confidence as I was before the injury, when I was on a roll."
Even though Koreshkov won via unanimous decision the first time, Lima guarantees the victory.
"I don’t see any problem fighting him," "The Phenom" said. "He took me down, but I know how injured I was, so I have nothing to worry about this time. Standing, on the ground, the strength, I don’t see any big of a deal there. I’m not worried. I trained hard and focused, and we’ll fight wherever we go, and I will win at all costs. I can guarantee you that.
"I know he won’t be able to take me down so he has to stand with me, so let’s do this. He has a good striking, but there’s where I succeed. Whatever he brings, I’ll be ready. I will go for the finish against Koreshkov now. I will knock him out inside three rounds. That’s the gameplan."