Former MFC Champ Douglas Lima Excited to Begin Bellator Chapter
By Kelsey Mowatt
Douglas Lima will look to build on his impressive run with the Maximum Fighting Championship this weekend, when the American Top Team Atlanta fighter takes on Steve Carl in the opening round of Bellator’s Season Five welterweight tournament. While Lima is the first to admit that he enjoyed his tenure with the Edmonton based MFC promotion, the 23 year-old-fighter is looking forward to what new opportunities Bellator presents.
“So far, so good, I have no reason to complain with Bellator,” said Lima (18-4), who during his time with the MFC scored victories over Ryan Ford, Jesse Juarez and Terry Martin, in addition to winning the promotion’s welterweight belt. “Same thing with the MFC. I can’t complain about them either. I’m happy, I’m working and I just want to keep fighting…Bellator has a good deal with TV, they’ve promoted themselves good, and now I just need to win my fight.”
With the future of Strikeforce rather uncertain, it appears that Bellator is attempting to position itself as a mainstream competitor to the UFC, particularly if the promotion can secure further broadcasting deals with MTV Networks and Spike.
“It seems like Bellator is doing the right thing,” Lima told FCF. “They’re doing the stuff that needs to be done. Of course the UFC is number one, there’s no question about that, but it’s good to have another show…If they can get the Spike TV deal it’s going to be good for the fans too. I think more guys watch fights than MTV 2 so it will give more people the chance to see fights. Either way it’s good for all of us; the fans and the fighters.”
Of course, to fully benefit from Bellator’s growing profile, Lima will have to get by the 26 year-old Carl (14-2) in Atlantic City, Saturday night, who aside from a submission loss to Dan Hornbuckle last May, has gone undefeated in his last ten fights.
“I’ve seen some footage of him; he’s a tough kid,” said Lima about his quarter-final opponent. “He’s a good grappler who also likes to strike. He’s a good fighter; our fight should be really exciting. He matches up really well with my style. I’m really excited.”
“If he strikes with me I’ll strike; if wants to go to the ground I’ll go there as well,” Lima added. “Just have to win. We’ll find out Saturday.”
In addition to established and well traveled vets like Ben Saunders and Dan Hornbuckle, the other scheduled competitors for the tourney’s first round include Luis Santos, Chris Cisneros, Chris Lozano and Brett Weedman.
“I’ve looked at all the fighters and I’ve said this before, I don’t think there are any favourites in the tournament,” said Lima. “Everybody’s tough…I don’t have a favourite going in except myself. I think I’m going to win but everybody’s good, everybody looks tough. It’s going to be a great tournament and I think fans will love it.”
Of course, Saunders and Hornbuckle will both be competing under the ATT banner as well, however, neither train out of Atlanta like Lima.
“I haven’t done any training with them,” Lima noted. “They’re out of different American Top Team locations, but it doesn’t really matter, it’s our job, it shouldn’t be a problem in this fight…we have to go do our job.”