ROSEMONT, Ill – Former 170-pound champion Douglas Lima will get another crack at the title in the finals of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix tournament.
Lima earned that right with an unbelievable win over Michael “Venom” Page inside the Allstate Arena on Saturday night in Rosemont, Illinois.
After the fight, “The Phenom” was thrilled at the reality that he would soon be fighting for ‘his’ welterweight strap. It’s just one more goal for Lima to check off his bucket list. For instance, he said he wanted to have the performance of his life earlier this week, and, well, he did.
“Right now, I feel that was the biggest highlight of my career,” Lima said to media during the post-fight scrum including Lowkick MMA. “That was the biggest fight that I’ve been in. I said it before – I was going to finish it. I went in there and executed. I’m really happy with my performance, and I’m moving on to the finals.
“I got caught with some good shots, as well. He was very fast in the beginning. But I knew there was a moment in the fight I was going to connect and finish it.”
All the attention now shifts to the other side of the bracket. Will it be the champion Rory MacDonald moving on to the finals to defend the title against the man he took it from in Lima, or will Neiman Gracie continue his improbable run?
For Lima, it really makes no difference. He just wants his belt back. But at the same time he doesn’t want the Gracie family to hate him should he defeat Neiman in the process.
“Honestly, I need the belt,” Lima said. “That’s what I want, that’s what I’m going to get. If it’s Rory, even better – of course, I lost that close decision to him. I definitely want to get that back. But it really doesn’t matter to me. The goal here is to get the belt back – finish another fight and get that belt.
“If I were to choose, of course I would say Rory – a bigger fight, a guy that has a win over me. Let’s see what happens when they fight in June. I can’t wait to fight the winner.
“I just don’t want the Gracies to hate me when I beat him. I’m pretty cool with most of them. That’s the only thing that I think about: ‘Man, if I beat this guy, they’re all going to hate me.’ But it’s the fight game. The Gracies are big, and I’ve got a lot of respect for all of them, of course. … But if we’ve got to fight, I’ve got to win.”
Let us know what you think. Who will Douglas Lima face in the finals of the Bellator Welterweight World Gran Prix?