A pair of explosive match-ups have been added to the Bellator Paris card on May 12, 2023, and one involves a former champion moving up a division.
Douglas Lima (32-11), the promotion’s former, and storied, welterweight champion will make the jump to 185lbs when he takes on Costello Van Steenis (14-2) at the event, set for the Accor Arena in Paris, France.
Promotion officials announced the news in a press release distributed on Thursday. Additionally, a light heavyweight affair featuring Simon Biyong (9-2) against Jose Augusto (7-4, 1NC) was also announced.
For Lima, the move is a chance to snap a harrowing four-fight skid that has left his career in question. The Brazilian was the face of the promotion for years, winning both the season 5 and season 8 welterweight tournaments, and capturing his first welterweight title in 2014. Though he would lose the belt to Andrey Koreshkov in his next fight, Lima stormed back to the top of the company, defeating Koreshkov in a rematch in 2016. Defending the belt once, he lost it again, this time to Rory MacDonald, before tearing through the Bellator welterweight grand prix, defeating MacDonald in their rematch at the tournament finale in 2019.
Lima, however, has not won since. A move to middleweight in October of 2020, in an attempt to earn a second title against Gegard Mousasi, backfired. Lima then returned to welterweight, losing his title for the third time against Yaroslav Amosov. Losses to Michael “Venom” Page and Jason Jackson followed.
Van Steenis has won two straight, and made his return after two years on the sidelines this past October. He wound up submitting Kamil Oniszczuk in that outing.
Jose Augusto and Simon Biyong are two fighters on very different trajectories. Biyong has won two straight, while Augusto has dropped two, albeit against Alex Polizzi and the late Anthony “Rumble” Johnson.
This year’s Bellator Paris card on May 12, 2023 currently boasts the following match-ups:
- Gegard Mousasi vs. Fabian Edwards
- Mansour Barnaoui vs. Sidney Outlaw – Bellator Lightweight Grand Prix Quarterfinal
- Douglas Lima vs. Costello Van Steenis
- Thibault Gouti vs. Kane Mousah
- Saul Rogers vs. Davy Gallon
- José Augusto vs. Simon Biyong