Douglas Lima (30-7 MMA) simultaneously finished up his trilogy with Andrey Korshekov and punched his ticket to the semifinals of the talent-rich Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix last September.
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The victory put him one step closer to reclaiming the title that he lost to Rory MacDonald early last year in a gritty five-round affair. It’s not going to be an easy path back to the throne, though. Depending on how the other side of the bracket plays outs, either a red hot prospect with a famous name or one of two of battled-tested warhorses await him on the horizon. Next, at the gates, a flashy sniper who has yet to taste defeat inside the cage.
Lima took a few minutes from preparing for his May 11 bout to speak to John Hyon Ko of The Body Lock about Michael “Venom” Page, how losing his belt has motivated him, and more.
John Hyon Ko caught up with Lima at Phuket Fight Club. That’s just one of the stops for the former champion who’s been on a constant grind since the inception of the Grand Prix. When asked about his camp for his upcoming bout, it was revealed that he’s been in training since his victory last September.
“Honestly, nowadays my life is a camp,” Lima stated. “It’s been like six or seven months and I haven’t stopped trying to improve. For me, this is a lifestyle. We’ll try and tighten everything up the last eight or six weeks and try to be a little more specific but it doesn’t really matter where I am. I’m always finding ways to train.”
Much of his motivation comes from the want to once again have gold around his waist. It also comes from his first meeting with MacDonald. In what was a close fight, Lima believes he could’ve won had he just been a bit more prepared.
“Even though a lot of people thought I won, I thought I lost myself because of that last round. I can never forget that last round. I had that round to finish him and I still got taken down. That’s what haunts me. But of course, that’s motivation.”
Lima knows anything can happen in the tournament format. While he would like a chance to avenge his loss to MacDonald and shake the specter that follows him, at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter who he faces in the finals.
“If we [him and MacDonald] meet again, it’s going to be different. It’s going to be one-sided. If it happens, it happens. I’m just going to stay training. My goal is to get the belt. It doesn’t matter who has it.”
Facing Michael “Venom” Page
Before “The Phenom” can have a possible chance of redemption he will have to solve the enigma that is the undefeated Micahel “Venom” Page next month. When asked about Page’s fight with Paul Daley — a fight pretty much everyone expected to end in a vicious KO — Lima was as surprised as we all were.
“It was different, man. A lot different than we all expected. It was very close and could’ve went either way. Paul Daley surprised a lot of people with his wrestling. It’s a good fight for us to study a little bit.”
Should Daley have won, Lima would’ve been facing a man he already defeated back in 2016. Lima divulged that he’s more excited to take on a new face. Especially someone who has quite the excitement behind them.
“I’d much rather fight him [Page] then Daley again. The only rematch I want is Rory. So it’s good to get a new face you know? The hype is very high on him and he’s undefeated. So It’s good to fight a guy like that. I like the tournament format and I like the matches I have.”
Many felt MVP showed some exploitable flaws in the Daley match, Lima isn’t taking him lightly in the least.
“I thought his [Page] conditioning was really good. He fought five rounds and was fresh. He was able to adjust after being taken down. I gotta give him his respect. He’s undefeated, been in this game a long time and has a million kickboxing matches. I’m taking him very seriously.”
Eyes on the middleweight title
In order for Lima to get that sought after rematch with Macdonald, MacDonald will have to win his side of the bracket. His first fight of the tournament will be against Jon Fitch. Lima thinks MacDonald should take the W in that one, but fighting Fitch is hardly a walk in the park.
“I think Jon Fitch still causes problems for everybody. He’s a strong wrestler and he still wins a lot of fights. He’s definitely going to be a tough fight for Rory.”
Though he isn’t looking past his upcoming opponents, Lima is interested in challenging for a second belt down the line. The cut to welterweight isn’t an easy one and the idea of claiming a second strap is definitely enticing.
“We’ll see how everything goes with the tournament but the plan is getting both belts. I can’t move ahead too much right now. I’ve got two tough fights ahead of me. I’m not looking past anybody but of course, in a perfect world, it’s winning this tournament then winning the middleweight belt.”
Brandon is a long-time fan of combat sports who has covered them for various outlets since 2017.