Although Douglas Lima and Gegard Mousasi haven’t fought before they did spar together back in 2017 where the welterweight champion admits he got beat up.
In the co-main event of Bellator 243 on May 9, Lima will battle Mousasi for the vacant middleweight title. It will be the first time they officially fight one another but they have past experience training against each other.
“I was training with my friend [Roberto] Soldic in Germany, and Mousasi goes there to spar every Saturday,” Lima told MMA Fighting. “[Mousasi] invited me to spar, and I accepted. I was completely out of shape and got beat up by everybody in the gym [laughs]. But it was great, it was quite interesting. They welcomed me really well there.
“I think I did one or two rounds of sparring with [Mousasi]. It was alright because he saw I was very tired. That was two weeks before his fight with Shlemenko, so he was in shape and I was dead, so he beat me up [laughs].
“I respect him a lot, that entire team is great. Nothing against him. It’s going to be a great fight and I’m going after the knockout the entire time.”
Although Mousasi did him up that day, Douglas Lima says he wasn’t in fight shape and says Mousasi shouldn’t take that sparring session into consideration for their fight.
“If I were him I wouldn’t do that because this is a fight, you know?” Lima said. “He obviously took something from that, and so did I. I picked up a few things here and there. But it’s completely different now, I can guarantee you that. As we always say, training is different from fighting.”
Although we have seen a welterweight champion in Rory MacDonald fight up in weight to scrap Mousasi. It was a dominating performance by Mousasi but Lima says the weight won’t be a factor in this fight.
“I don’t think the weight will play a big factor because I walk around 200 pounds,” Lima said. “The thing is, I have to show up and fight. I’m not even thinking about the weight, I’m focused on the fight. I think I’ll enjoy this division more because the weight cut will be easier.
“Rory himself said he didn’t show up to fight that time. I don’t know what happened. He always goes in and fights whoever, but he kind of froze against Mousasi. Maybe he felt the weight difference, the punching power, I don’t know. I don’t even watch that fight because it makes no difference. I know he moved up and things didn’t work out for him, but it will be different for me.”
In the end, Douglas Lima is confident he’ll get his hand raised and says he expects to finish the fight.
“I’m always going for the knockout but whatever it takes, man, I want to win,” Lima said. “I always want the finish. This matchup right there, I know it will happen.”