Would the undefeated 25-0 Yaroslav Amosov be the man the end the second reign of welterweight champion Douglas Lima?
That was the question set to be answered at Bellator 260 on Friday. Lima had established himself as one of the promotion’s most successful homegrown talents — especially given the exit of multi-time lightweight champ Michael Chandler last year.
Amosov was a fresh face in the division, flying under the radar outside of dedicated MMA fans despite his sterling record.
With action underway at the Mohegan Sun Arena, Amosov connected first, landing a low kick. Lima fanned on his answer, but Amosov would hit home a couple more times in the opening 90 seconds. Lima would fire a hard body kick, landing the most significant strike in the opening two minutes. Amosov then changed levels and powered into a takedown; the champ popped back up, only to be taken down again. This time, in dead center of the cage, Lima was forced to spend some time on his back.
The second round saw both men looking a little looser. There were single strikes and short exchanges on the feet. But once again, Amosov grabbed onto a leg and secured a takedown, with just under three minutes remaining in the frame. Lima would eventually work his way back to the fence, but Amosov stayed right on him. The Ukrainian tied up his opponent’s legs, keeping him trapped in place until all of thirty seconds remained in the round.
Unquestionably down two rounds, Douglas Lima opened the third round with a high kick. He pressed forward; Amosov backed him up with a front kick that fell short. Another high kick connected for Lima, which got the challenger moving. When Amosov drove forward for a takedown, Lima would connect with a knee — but once again, the champion was planted on his back, this time with half a round remaining.
Lima kept his guard closed as Amosov went to work, landing punches to the side. Amosov then went to the head, but was warned for illegal strikes, coming in contact with the back of the head. That led to a stand-up by the ref — but no point was taken. They’d finish the round on the feet, Lima’s right hand and body kick looking dangerous.
The championship rounds started as always with round four, and with champ Douglas Lima almost certainly in need of a finish. Amosov put his Sambo skills to use early, fighting for a trip takedown in the opening minute. It wouldn’t come on the first attempt, but he landed it on the second. Lima once again employed a closed guard, and simply wasn’t creating much in the way of threats off his back.
Bellator’s welterweight division was on the brink of a title change as the fifth round arrived. Five minutes stood between Yaroslav Amosov and, almost certainly, championship gold.
As it had throughout the fight, Douglas Lima’s offense appeared stuck in first gear in the final frame. He had no answer to Amosov’s takedowns; when he was throwing, it was single strikes. To be fair, Amosov was also throwing single strikes in the fifth, but he was already up on the scorecards, and when another takedown arrived, the writing was on the wall. Lima’s best chance at a win came in a late arm-bar attempt, but Amosov survived.
And so the second title reign of Douglas Lima came to a close at Bellator 260. The Brazilian was out-worked and out-wrestled by Yaroslav Amosov, who looks to be a problem for anyone at 170lbs.
Official Result: Yaroslav Amosov def. Douglas Lima by unanimous decision (50-45, 49-46, 49-46)