After Latest Win, Douglas Lima Focusing on Nex Bellator Tourney: “I Can’t Think About Ben Askren Right Now, I Got To Go Through These Guys First”
After fighting four times in 2011 and winning Bellator’s welterweight tournament, Douglas Lima wasn’t about to let 2012 conclude having competed just once. After failing to unseat the promotion’s reigning champion Ben Askren in April, and by not competing in Bellator’s latest welterweight tourney, Lima appeared destined for the sidelines until 2013. Lima let it be known that he wanted to stay busy, and a bout with Jacob Ortiz was scheduled for Bellator 79 on November 2nd.
“I asked for it because they didn’t want me on this tournament going on right now,” Lima told Full Contact Fighter. “They told me they want me in the next tournament when they go to Spike TV. I didn’t want to wait that long; it’s been seven months already. I also asked for the catch-weight as well, because I didn’t want to make the 170 now. It was good that they gave me the fight at the catch-weight.”
The bout with Ortiz was contested at a catch-weight of 180 pounds, and Lima went on to record a third round stoppage win over the vet to extend his overall record to an impressive 22-5.
“I feel good; I’m glad I got the finish,” Lima noted about the bout. “Was hard to finish him though. He had a hard head, and I hit him with everything I had throughout the whole fight, but, I’m just glad I got the win and the finish, and now I’m just going to get ready for the tournament.”
“The weight cut was a lot easier than making 170,” Lima added, when asked how he felt competing at 180 pounds. “I’m still planning on staying at 170, but the more I grow the more it gets hard, so, maybe in the next year or two I’ll go up to 185 but right now 170 is my weight.”
While Bellator has hung its promotional hat on its tournament format, and has had a great deal of success in doing so, it has struggled somewhat to keep some of its high profile fighters and champions active. In addition, some observers have wondered, whether the promotion may have to adjust its format to attract or retain well established fighters who don’t want to go through the grueling tournament.
“I see why they don’t want to go through the tournament again; it’s not as easy as some people think it is,” said the 24 year-old Lima, who defeated Steve Carl, Chris Lozano and Ben Saunders last fall to win the promotion’s welterweight competition. “Making weight and fighting three times in three months is difficult. You can’t take a week off from training if you’re fighting in the next couple of weeks.”
“For me though it’s good, I like it; I like the challenge,” Lima furthered. “I like to stay busy…it’s not easy though. There’s a lot of good guys in Bellator so I’m already getting ready for it. I can’t wait.”
By the time Lima competes in the next welterweight tournament, another fighter will have already entrenched a bout with Askren. On November 30th, the former champion Lyman Good will take on rising commodity Andrey Koreshkov to determine the winner of the current welterweight competition.
While Lima would naturally like to earn another title shot, and face the only man who has defeated him since 2009 for a second time, the ATT Atlanta fighter is aware that there are more immediate challenges ahead.
“I’m not thinking that far ahead yet,” Lima admitted. “This tournament is going to be really hard; lots of competition, so I can’t think about Askren right now. I got to go through these guys first before I can start thinking about him.”