If it wasn’t a super-fight, it was the closest thing possible. Douglas Lima made the move to middleweight on Thursday, taking on Gegard Mouasi. Bellator’s vacant middleweight title was on the line.
In terms of star power, Mousasi and Lima were two of the biggest Bellator had to offer.
Mousasi pressed forward early, putting Lima on the outside against the cage. Trying to eliminate space for Lima to kick — not entirely successfully, as within the opening minute, Lima fired off a whip-like leg kick. Mousasi closed the distance and initiated a clinch. however, looking to get the fight to the ground. He briefly had the back, and finally wrenched Lima to the mat. That allowed Mousasi to go to work dropping ground n’ pound, with plenty of time to work. He controlled Lima’s wrists, dropping slicing elbows on the welterweight champ.
The second round started in similar fashion. Mousasi was walking down Lima, forcing his back to the fence. Lima was able to stay on the feet this time, and get in the odd leg kick. He did not have a lot of room to work, however. With two minutes remaining, Lima exploded out with a short combo, leading with a kick. But Mousasi shot in for a takedown not long after. And when they were at range, he was able to check enough of Lima’s kicks to limit their effectiveness.
Mousasi was almost certainly in the lead heading into the third round. Making the third round a crucial one. Lima was going to need to change up his game plan. Instead, as in the opening two stanzas, Lima wound up back to the cage, circling away, hesitant to pull the trigger. While he wasn’t being dominated, walking backward was not going to win him the fight. Mousasi, meanwhile, was able to double pump his jab at times, and work in some kicks of his own. In terms of cage control and aggression, Mousasi led the way. At the end of the round, the pace quickened just a little, but Mousasi was likely firmly ahead going into the championship rounds.
The #Bellator250 main event title bout is headed into the championship rounds.
— BellatorMMA (@BellatorMMA) October 30, 2020
Round four saw Mousasi control the back early and add in a few foot stomps for good measure. He came close to taking the back completely, but Lima escaped out. Only to be tied up along the fence. Mousasi was able to sneak in a few short punches while winning the head position battle, before Lima freed himself. In the final minutes of the round, Lima was able to get his combinations going just a little, finishing a combination with a hard leg kick that nearly took Mousasi’s leg out from under him. The problem, however, was that Lima was in need of a finish, being too far behind on the scorecards.
The fifth and final round gave Lima five minutes or less to finish Gegard Mousasi — a fighter stopped all of four times in a 50+ fight career, and knocked out all of once. Mousasi’s leg was finally showing a bit of damage, and he was a little more flat-footed as time wound down. Which hurt his ability to avoid Lima’s strikes. But Mousasi would explode forward with a takedown with all of 90 seconds remaining. Lima would spend the remainder of the fight on his back.
The loss for Lima puts to rest the idea of the Brazilian being the next double champ in Bellator. It also puts Gegard Mousasi back atop the mountain, with John Salter a possibility for his next outing.
Official Result: Gegard Mousasi def. Douglas Lima by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)