While the belt is his ultimate goal, Douglas Lima would love it if the welterweight grand prix final wound up featuring himself and Rory MacDonald.
Chicago, IL — Another fight in the welterweight grand prix is over. And former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima is another step closer to reclaiming his title. Thanks to a knockout victory against Michael ‘Venom’ Page at Bellator 221 in Chicago on Saturday, Lima will move on to the final.
There, he’ll fight the winner of Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie. It was MacDonald who dethroned Lima. It’s a fight he’d very much like back. But for now, the win over MVP, “that’s the top highlight in my career,” he told media outlets including Cageside Press back stage at the AllState Arena. “This was the biggest fight, that I’ve been in. I said it before, I was going to finish it, went in and executed. Really happy with the performance, moving on to the finals.”
It was not any easy fight, despite the outcome. “I got caught with some good shots as well. He was very fast in the beginning. In the first round nothing really big happened. I knew there was a moment I was going to connect, and finish it.” Lima did just that, securing the victory 35 seconds into round number two.
The finish is something he always strives for. “I’ve been knocking a lot of guys out here in Bellator,” he said. Indeed, he’s one of the most active finishers in the prmotion. Overall, said Lima, “I think I belong in the top of the division. I proved it once again with this win. [The critics] can say whatever they want. I just know where I am, I know that I belong in the top, and I’m coming to take this tournament, and my belt back.”
The plan, in fact, is “to finish everybody in this tournament, get that belt back in style.”
As for MVP, Lima dismissed criticism that Page’s hype train had been derailed. “Keep it going. I’m a fan,” Lima said Saturday. In fact, the two had been quite cordial leading into the fight. No trash talking, and Lima seemed to understand Page’s in-cage antics. “He’s still young. He’s still got a lot to do in this sport,” Lima observed.
Later, responding to criticism that Page wasn’t an elite fighter, Lima added that “He’s definitely an elite level fighter. For him to be in this tournament, you know what I mean.” Lima suggested you need only to look at Page’s last fight as proof. “A win over [Paul] Daley, it doesn’t matter how the fight went. Daley’s got over 70 fights. He beat him. The win is on his record. He always had all my respect. I always respected him, like I do with every fighter. But man, he’s up there.”
When it comes to his own goals, and what he’s after most, “honestly I need the belt, that’s what I want, that’s what I’m going to get,” Lima said. If it works out that he could have a little revenge, however, that would be just fine. “If it’s Rory, even better. I lost that close decision to him. Definitely want to get that back. But it really doesn’t matter to me. The goal is to get that belt back. Finish the fight, and get that belt back.”
“If I was to choose, of course it would be Rory,” Lima admitted. “The bigger fight, a guy that has a win over me. So let’s see what happens when they fight in June. I can’t wait, I can’t wait to fight the winner.”
Besides, he’d rather fight ‘The Red King’ than a Gracie. “I just don’t want the Gracies to hate me when I beat them,” Lima joked.
Watch the full Bellator 221 post-fight press scrum with Douglas Lima above!