Coming off a loss to Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 140 in July of 2015, which also cost him his welterweight title, Douglas Lima rebounded with a unanimous decision win over Paul Daley in July of this year.
For Lima, getting the chance to earn a win over a veteran like Daley was a big way to get back on track towards regaining his lost title.
“It was great to be back with such a high-profile fight,” Lima told MMAWeekly.com. “He’s a great opponent. He’s been fighting a really long time. I feel great getting a win like that.
“I wish I could have gotten a finish. I had him hurt a lot of times in the fight, but I wasn’t able to finish, other than that things went great. I fought hard. I’m really happy with a performance over such a high-level opponent.”
With the win over Daley, Lima (27-6) gets a chance to regain his welterweight Bellator belt when he takes on Koreshkov (19-1) in a main event rematch in Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday.
“I definitely think it’s going to be a new fight,” said Lima. “I don’t know what (Koreshkov’s) game plan is, because last time he wrestled me, he used his striking, but the main thing is that I’m prepared for everything this time.
“I had a completely full camp and was able to train everything, so I’m prepared and I’m ready for anything he brings. I’m very excited to fight him again for the belt in Israel, and I’m looking forward to the match.”
While the rematch gives Lima an opportunity to exact revenge, he’s not looking at the fight with Koreshkov that way. Instead, this just happens to be the fight where he can get his title back.
“I don’t care about stuff like that,” Lima said. “My goal is to get the belt, and he still has the belt, so he’s the guy I have to go through. The only thing I’m thinking about is getting the belt back.”
Now that he’s back on track, Lima wants to reclaim his title and then set his sights on one of Bellator’s newest signings.
“Rory MacDonald – to win the title and defend it against him,” said Lima. “He’s the biggest name in Bellator right now. I’m happy Bellator picked him up, and I’m excited to go against him.
“He’s an impressive fighter, I’ve been watching him for a long time, and I’m happy he is in Bellator, and I can’t wait to fight him.”