Despite the postponement of Bellator events due to the COVID-19 pandemic, welterweight champion Douglas Lima said his shot at capturing a second title is still on the table.
After winning the Bellator welterweight grand prix and becoming world champion for the third time, Lima was scheduled to face Gegard Mousasi on May 9 at Bellator 242. The good news is the promotion intends to rebook the fight once the schedule resumes.
Although his chance at history has been delayed, Lima wholeheartedly believes he will share the cage with Mousasi as soon as possible.
“For sure, that’s the plan,” Lima told MMA Fighting while appearing on What the Heck. “The next step right now is the middleweight title. They just postponed the fight, and we’ll see what happens. Bellator said they want to start the shows again in July. I don’t have any details or anything, but hopefully we’re one of the first fights. The plan is this fight for the middleweight gold.”
Since losing the welterweight title to Rory MacDonald at Bellator 192 in early 2018, “The Phenom” has won his last three fights. With finishes of Andrey Koreshkov and Michael Page in the first two rounds of the grand prix, the 32-year-old Lima was able to exact revenge on MacDonald and re-capture the title via unanimous decision at Bellator 232 this past October.
Lima was awarded the opportunity to face Mousasi when Rafael Lovato Jr. vacated the middleweight title after he was diagnosed with a brain affliction known as cavernoma. Lima understood why the event was postponed, but said the delay wasn’t ideal.
“I was definitely bummed, but safety comes first,” Lima explained. “I know the fight’s still gonna happen in the future, so that made me a little more calm. I was so looking forward to that fight. It’s such a big and exciting challenge.
“I’m just training as much as I can, one-on-one with my coaches, [with] four guys in the training room. We’re still putting in work as much as we can, and I’m fortunate enough to have my gym [where I can ] open the doors whenever I want.
Surviving the grand prix gauntlet, beating MacDonald, becoming a world champion for a third time and winning the $1 million tournament prize have been high points of Lima’s nearly 40-fight pro career. Now, he looks carry and defend two titles to extend an already impressive surge.
“I’m looking for another run with the middleweight title,” Lima said. “I’m looking to defend that and defend back at 170. There’s always something bigger out there. Let’s start with this fight up at middleweight. I think this is a huge fight against such a big name and moving up a weight class.
“This has got everything to make it even bigger (than winning the welterweight grand prix). I just need to focus, train hard and keep winning these fights. Just make the most out of this time and I’m sure we’ve got bigger things coming.”
There is no date set for the fight between Mousasi and Lima. However, when asked if the highly anticipated title bout would take place by the end of the summer, Lima believes it’s a strong possibility.
“I pray so,” Lima said laughingly. “I hope so and I’ll be ready by then. If they give me six weeks to be ready, I’ll be there.”