Over the past two years, Douglas Lima has gone from prospect to champion. Now he has his sights set on more gold, and as part of this season’s Bellator welterweight tournament, he’ll have an opportunity to earn a shot at more.
“I have a title in (MFC), and now I’m coming to get the other title in Bellator,” said Lima. “I’m training hard to give a great performance. I want people to keep watching me, keep the look out and keep supporting me.
“I’m just training harder and I’m getting better every day. I think in this tournament, I’ll be more ready than I was defending my title (in April against Terry Martin). I’m really ready to go.”
Coming into the tournament’s first round at Bellator 49 on Sept. 10 in Atlantic City, N.J., Lima is on a six-fight winning streak, leading many to feel he could be the tournament favorite, but he doesn’t see it that way.
“To have people behind me that think I’m the favorite, it makes me happy, but I don’t actually think there’s a favorite in this tournament,” he told MMAWeekly.com. “Everybody’s tough, have a good amount of fights, good experience; so there’s no favorite to me in this tournament.”
Even if he did feel he was the favorite, Lima explains that he’s not a fighter to let outside pressures get to him on fight night.
“I erase everything, and when I step in the cage, it’s just me and my opponent,” he said. “I don’t care who’s around; the only thing I’m concerned about is winning and having a good fight.
“I want to go in there, be exciting and finish the guy no matter what. I don’t want to leave it in the judges’ hands. Just concentrate and forget all the politics and everything else.”
Lima’s first test in Bellator comes in the form of Steve Carl who is currently 2-1 in the promotion.
“The guy’s pretty tough, and I’m not underestimating anybody in the tournament,” said Lima. “He wants the same thing I do, which is win the tournament and go after the belt. I know he’s coming hard, the same way I am, so it should be a good fight.
“I’m excited to go there and show what we have. It should be one not to miss.”
While Lima has been working hard to develop his game, his game plan, as always, remains the same.
“I’m an aggressive guy,” he said. “Every time I feel like I’m going to push the fight. That’s what I’m thinking of doing; nothing different; just go and try to finish the guy.”
As for the tournament format, Lima sees the positives in knowing what’s coming next.
“Of course, my main focus is Steve, but I know who everybody else is, I know their styles, so it should be easier in training,” he said. “I don’t have to be worried about who the next guy should be. I really like knowing and training this hard for it.”
Having progressed quickly over the last couple years, Lima has become a fighter to watch, and in his Bellator debut, he plans to have all eyes firmly affixed on him.
“I want to thank all my coaches and training partners, and everyone for their support,” he concluded. “I’m training really hard and I hope things work out on Sept. 10. I’m looking forward to the show and I promise you guys that I’m going to bring a really great fight.”