Being the best kept secret is MMA isn’t the greatest distinction in a sport where notoriety sells tickets, but Bellator’s Douglas Lima isn’t about to change.
Bridgeport, CT — Douglas Lima may just be Bellator’s Rodney Dangerfield. Despite being a former welterweight champion, and one of the best 170lb fighters in the game, he simply gets no respect. At least not the respect he deserves.
At Bellator 225 over the weekend, speaking to reporters including Cageside Press to hype up his welterweight grand prix final bout with Rory MacDonald at Bellator 232 — a rematch of their entertaining first fight last year — Lima was asked if constantly being overlooked bothered him. Because while he might be the best kept secret in MMA, the secret really should be out by now.
“It bothers me a little bit,” Lima admitted, “but it doesn’t really bug me.” In short, while it might get to him at times, it doesn’t bother him enough to change anything. He’s not about to go on a rant on the mic, or get into altercations at bars. “I’m still not going to change the way I act, the way I talk. That’s not going to change.”
“Eventually people will realize,” he said in regards to getting some recognition for his talents. “I’ve been here a long time, fighting, beating top guys. Still not showing that love, but it’s getting better now. It’s getting better. I just got to keep winning these fights, you know, and that’s it. Let’s see if we can make some noise.”
The chance to make some noise will come at Bellator 232, when he has his rematch with MacDonald, who dethroned him to claim the 170lb title.
“For sure,” Lima said when asked if he had expected to meet MacDonald in the finale. As to what type of MacDonald he’s anticipating to meet in October, “I expect a better one for sure. I think he’s going to be more prepared this time,” Lima suggested. “You know, maybe the last time he didn’t really respect me as a fighter the way he should. That’s my opinion. I think he’s going to come way more prepared this time, he’s going to come ready for the leg kicks. I said this before good fighters, when we fight each other, bring out the best of each other. That’s what I’m expecting here.”
“I’m training hard, I’m sure he’s training hard too. He’s had fights, he’s in shape, I’m going to be in shape, I’ve been training,” he added. “I’m really looking forward to it.”
Especially because he’s been itching to get back to action. Lima last fought May, when he knocked out MVP at Bellator 221. Ten events will have passed before he returns to the cage. “It’s been a slow year for me, just two fights,” he said. “I want to stay more busy. But it’s here now. Nine weeks away. I’m super excited, I’m pumped, I can’t wait.”
The delay came about simply because MacDonald wasn’t ready to take the fight sooner. For his part, Lima “would have preferred to fight as soon as possible. I’m 31 years old, I want to get as much fights as I can.”
However, a month and a half didn’t bother Lima too much. “If it was December, then I’d be like ‘come on, I can’t wait that much longer, I just fought it July, I can’t wait six more months.’ But everything worked out really good. I think the end of October is a great date. The main thing is to stay healthy. I’ve been healthy throughout the whole tournament, I’m feeling good, feeling strong. It’s a good date.”
Watch the full Bellator 225 press scrum with Douglas Lima above! Bellator 232 takes place October 26, 2019 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.