The belt is more important than the million dollars he pocketed at Bellator 232, Douglas Lima said following the event. And after winning the welterweight grand prix, he feels he’s the best 170lb’er in the world.
Uncasville, CT — Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald 2 did not live up to expectations. That fact is rather hard to deny, after MacDonald executed a cautious, calculated game plan in the welterweight grand prix finale at Bellator 232 on Saturday.
The fight was more of a chess match, with MacDonald staying on the outside, eluding Lima’s deadly leg kicks, and trying to time his way inside for takedown attempts.
They failed. Lima stuffed takedown after takedown en route to reclaiming the welterweight title. Speaking to reporters including Cageside Press after the fight, Lima said that “I’m still kind of processing everything, but it feels good. I’m happy I got the win.”
“I have to go back and watch the fight, but it wasn’t as exciting as we were expecting,” he admitted. Rory MacDonald, however, was “as tough as they come. He came with a great game plan. Moved a lot. So it was a little hard to time everything, but I think we did damage. We defended the takedown. And we got the win. That’s what matters.”
“I feel amazing,” Lima added, with two belts — the welterweight title, and grand prix tournament belt, sitting next to him on the podium.
Years ago, struggling with injury, Lima was told by doctors his career could be over. “Today I’m here, three-time world champion, and I beat one of the best in the world to do it,” he exclaimed. “I’m proud of myself for that.”
Heading into the fifth and final frame, his corner told him to “leave everything in there.” They reminded him of the pair’s first fight. “Don’t let him that control,” they said.
“He still ended up on top in that last minute, I’m still kind of bummed out about that. He landed a nice job in that fifth round as well,” Lima observed. But it mattered not. Two judges awarded all five rounds to Lima anyway.
With two belts and a million dollars in prize money, Lima was asked which mattered more. “Of course everybody’s going to think money, and if I say the belt, people are going to say I’m lying,” he answered. “But I’m not. [The belt] is important to me. Money comes and goes. That’s a bonus. Maybe it’s because it didn’t settle in yet. Maybe it’s because I didn’t deposit it yet. But it still doesn’t feel real. But this [the belt] right here is real for me.”
“It’s important for me to be a champion, especially in an organization like this where it’s growing,” he added. “There’s a lot of killers out here, the division is deep. I’ve just got to prove a lot more. I’ve just got to keep improving, defend this thing. But definitely the belt is more important for me.”
And yes, he agreed, winning the grand prix means he’s the best in the world. “Definitely. If you don’t believe me, come and beat me.”
Watch the full Bellator 232 post-fight press conference with Douglas Lima above!