New England’s John Douma was victorious in split decision fashion against Will Smith in the opening bout of Bellator 256. It was Douma’s first fight since 2019, in which the 24-year old collected his fifth professional victory. Despite that, he wasn’t super pleased with his performance — but a win is a win.
“It wasn’t what I wanted, but I was able to squeeze it out. I’ll take it,” Douma stated, speaking to media outlets including Cageside Press following the fight. When it went to the scorecards, “I didn’t have a good feeling, I’ll tell you that much. Some mistakes to work on . On the feet I was trying to get him down, it was weird, he was hard to get a read on. He did a lot of weird stuff I’m not used to seeing.”
Douma has competed under the Bellator MMA banner before, and this was another one fight deal for the prospect. Douma admitted that he had wanted to showcase more in Friday’s fight, in hopes of signing a multi-fight deal with the promotion.
“I was really hoping to get some highlight here or something,” Douma told the media. “I’ll take the win, hopefully they [Bellator] want me. I’m more than happy to stick around.”
The Rhode Island native also touched on his boxing coach, Greg Rebello, a legend of sorts in the New England area. “Greg. It’s a blessing and a curse. You’re never safe with Greg. But for sure, he’s a fun guy to have around. He talks the talk and walks the walk. He knows what he’s talking about. He’s going to bust your balls the entire training session, but you’re going to get a lot better with him.”
Watch the full Bellator 256 post-fight press scrum with John Douma above.