Douglas Lima was pursuing greatness a year ago, battling for a second belt in Bellator at middleweight. Now, the welterweight talent enters Bellator 267, Friday night in London, attempting to score his first victory in 24 months and no championship belt at home.
Speaking on the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s Portuguese-language podcast Trocação Franca, “The Phenom” opened up on the importance of the rematch with Michael Page has for his career after losing back-to-back decisions to Gegard Mousasi and Yaroslav Amosov.
“I know I fought real bad in my last couple of fights,” Lima said. “It’s my fault. I took too long to do something. Sometimes we simply blank, man. I was super well-trained. That last fight, I was taken down in the first round, closed my guard and kept waiting and waiting. I didn’t receive any damage, wasn’t hurt at all, but I didn’t wake. up.”
Lima vows to change “a lot of things in my next camp” for Amosov. To get there, though, Lima surpass Page this Friday night. Almost four months after saying MVP was hand-picking opponents in Bellator, Lima leaves any criticism in the past and focuses on the task of beating the Englishman a second time.
“Based on what we see, I think his opponents are kind of selected,” he said. “Man, he fought guys with three, five fights after losing to me, but that’s in the past now, it doesn’t matter anymore. I’m focused on him now.
“He’s a bit complicated [to fight] because of his style and everything, so I don’t worry about any of that anymore. I’ll just focus on this fight and really prove I’m the better fighter and win one more time. That’s what matters. What matters to me is getting another title fight. Winning this one, I definitely want to challenge Amosov one more time.”
Page won five straight since his sole MMA defeat to Lima in May 2019, defeating experienced welterweight Derek Anderson in his most recent one but getting past four Bellator newcomers plus Richard Kiely, 3-1 in MMA.
“I don’t think he has changed that much,” Lima said. “His style is the same. The thing is, he gets inside people’s head and make them make mistakes, and that’s when he comes in. It will be different with me because my focus is always the same, I’m there to fight. He can do whatever he wants in there, I’ll stick to my game. He won’t make me lose focus. I take my work very seriously.
“To tell you the truth, I don’t even see it. People said he was doing some basketball stuff when I fought him the first time and I didn’t even notice he was dancing, showboating. You have to stay focused, man. You must have a good head in there. If you lose your cool you’ll get tired and make mistakes. Stay focused because any mistake in there is fatal. One mistake, one hand or kick that lands, it’s over.”
Lima said “the only good thing” Page did in the first fight was landing a good hand that had him hurt “for like three seconds” and controlling his wrists on the ground. When Page began showboating shortly after, Lima connected a hard leg kick followed by an uppercut that left Page unconscious on the canvas.
Lima does compliment his opponent, though.
“Those small gloves, man, if that lands on the head there’s no other way, you’ll feel it,” Lima said. “The thing is not even the power, it’s speed. He’s fast. He’s definitely one of the fastest fighters I’ve ever fought and that’s something we have to focus so it doesn’t happen again. He’s quite fast, his strikes come from different directions.”
The Brazilian fighter misses knocking people out after going 25 minutes in his past three bouts against Rory MacDonald, Mousasi and Amosov, going 1-2 in those decisions.
“I definitely want a knockout or a submission, whatever comes,” Lima said. “Winning is always what matters in the end, but, to me, I have to finish this fight. I have to knock him out again, I have to submit him. It it goes to a decision again it must be 3-0. I have something to prove to myself. I’ll be more aggressive in this fight. I’ll start faster and go for the knockout the entire time.”
Check out the latest episode of MMA Fighting’s Brazilian podcast Trocação Franca.