Bellator 134: Douglas Lima Says He’s Better Than Ever, Despite “The Most Frustrating Year of my Life”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Douglas Lima may have laid claim to Bellator’s welterweight title in April, but as 2014 draws to a close, the punishing striker says the year’s been an extremely frustrating one overall.
Due to injuries, the 26 year-old Lima fought just once this past year, when he battled Rick Hawn at Bellator 117 in April. Lima went on to stop Hawn, and win the promotion’s vacant welterweight title, which was vacated by Ben Askren in 2013. During last year’s campaign, Lima fought in January, February, and September, and scored finishes in every appearance.
“Yeah definitely. It was the most frustrating year of my life,” Lima relayed on a recent episode of Full Contact Fighter Radio. “I didn’t expect back-to-back injuries you know. Not just any injuries, but injuries that take a long time and you’ve got to be really careful when you’re coming back.”
Lima had hoped to get another fight in this past fall, but the 26-5 fighter injured his ribs, and won’t fight until February 27th. On that date the Bellator champ will battle UFC and Strikeforce vet, Paul Daley.
“It’s part of the game. It’s a rough sport that we do. I’m just very happy that I’m back training. Back training a 100%,” Lima said. “Nothing’s bothering me, because I’ve got to be there 100%. I want to stay champion for a long time….Everything happens for a reason, it was bad, and it sucked for a long time, but it’s coming back. I’m going to come back a lot better.”
“I’m getting better; getting stronger as I grow,” added Lima, who took out Mikhail Tsarev, Bryan Baker and Ben Saunders last year. “So, you’re going to see a new Douglas Lima, February 27th. A better one for sure.”
Debate regarding the frequency of injuries in MMA has continued in 2014, and some have questioned whether camps need to dial back the training, as a means to keep fighter’s more active.
“There definitely can be precautions, but at the same time, it’s a fight. You’ve got to get ready for it,” said Lima, while discussing injuries, and whether overtraining is an issue. “You’re getting ready for war. Injuries are going to happen.”
“Definitely being a lot more careful, but at the same time, I need to push myself to the limit everyday,” the welterweight added. “That’s the only way you’re going to be able to fight at the top level. Five rounds for me is no joke man. Five rounds, if you don’t train right, you’re going to get tired…You just have to do what you’re going to do and pray nothing happens in training, and you don’t get injured again, because that’s the last thing I want to happen with me right now.”
Lima-Daley will headline Bellator 134, which will be hosted by the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut.