Over the years, 32-year-old Douglas Lima has established himself as one of the very best fighters on the Bellator roster. As a three-time welterweight champion, “The Phenom” holds a 14-3 promotional record and owns victories over notable names like Paul Daley, Andrey Koreshkov, Lorenz Larkin, Michael Page, and Rory MacDonald.
In the main event of Bellator 250 on Thursday night, however, Lima will be moving up in weight and looking to add to his legacy, as he’s set to take on veteran Gegard Mousasi for the vacant Bellator middleweight title.
“It would do wonders (for my legacy),” Lima told MMAJunkie on Tuesday. “For me right now, this is the biggest fight. I want to fight for legacy, and this would be the one that really puts me up there even more. I want (to be on the) pound-for-pound list, and I think a win over Mousasi definitely would put me up there.”
There’s no denying that Lima has fought and beaten respectable competition throughout his career, but it could certainly be argued that Mousasi represents his toughest test to date.
Known as “The Dreamcatcher”, the 35-year-old Mousasi is a former Bellator middleweight champion as well as a former DREAM middleweight champion, a former DREAM light heavyweight champion, and a former Strikeforce light heavyweight champion. He also had a successful stint in the UFC and owns an incredibly impressive 46-7-2 record.
Due to the caliber of opponent he’ll be facing on Thursday, however, Lima knows that he has to be at his best and it doesn’t appear as if he’s taking Mousasi lightly at all.
“I’ve got to be on top of my game, for sure,” Lima said. “He’s a guy that’s good everywhere. He’s a big guy. He’s a good striker. He wrestles pretty good, and he’s also really good when he gets on top (on the ground). I have to be ready for anything. … Everything that I could’ve done, I did in this year that I’ve been preparing for him. I just have to be on top of my game. Whatever he does, I’ve just got to do it better. I know I hit hard; he hits hard, as well. I’ll be looking for the finish. It doesn’t matter who it is, how big they are. There’s always a fighting chance. And I feel really good about this matchup.”
The current 170-pound champion has also had some time to prepare for Mousasi and the jump up in weight, as the two were originally set to fight in May before the COVID-19 pandemic shook up the world. He’s also stated that he’s trained with bigger training partners in the lead-up to the bout and that not having to cut down to the welterweight limit will ultimately benefit him.
Simply put, Douglas Lima seems confident and when the cage door closes on Thursday, he’s made it clear that while he’ll look for the finish, he’ll be ready for anything.
“I’ll definitely (look) for the finish, but I know how durable he is,” Lima said. “We’re prepared for five rounds. If we’re not able to get the finish, we’ve got to be able to go five rounds. It’s do-able, for sure. Of course, he hasn’t been finished a lot, but a jaw is a jaw. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bear or a lion; you’re gonna go down. I believe in my power. It’s little gloves. One thing connects good, (and) that’s it. Fight is over. It’s not impossible, and I believe in my power, that I can put him away. Just got to respect how durable he is and who he’s been there with in the cage.”
Who wins, Douglas Lima or Gegard Mousasi?
Long Island-based sports writer covering MMA, Boxing, and the New York Jets.