Douglas Lima: “I really could be a champion at the UFC”

Douglas Lima has been a staple on the Bellator roster for almost ten years. Last year the Brazilian captured the welterweight world title when he beat Rory McDonanld in Bellator’s welterweight grand prix. Lima also defeated such names as Michael ‘Venom’ Page and Andrey Koreshkov in that same tournament. Previously he has had his hand raised against such names as Paul Daley and Lorenz Larkin which meant that competition was running thin in the division. 

The decision was made soon after winning back his title off McDonald that a move up in weight was the way to go. Not just a move up in weight but a shot at the vacant title against veteran Gegard Mousasi. That bout was supposed to happen next month but has since fallen through due to the ongoing pandemic. 

On Monday Sean Sheehan spoke to Lima about his disappointment on the bout falling through and how he is adjusting his training during these strange times. 

“It’s very disappointing, you know. It’s a crazy time and there are crazy things going on in the world right now so I understand. It’s a fight that will happen in the future, maybe in July or August. I just got to keep focused, keep training as much as I can and stay safe. I’m sure the fight is going to happen soon.”

“I’m at my own gym so I can open whenever I want to. I just bring my coach, one training partner or two. We just have our own private training. It’s about quality over quantity for me. If I have four good training partners that’s enough for me for a training camp. We train as much as we can, we stay safe and try to take the right precautions. I can’t be too out of shape because whenever they ask me to fight, I’ll be ready!”

A move back up to 185 pounds was always on the cards according to Lima.

 “This is something that I have thought of doing years ago. I struggle a lot to make 170, to make welterweight so I think this is going to be good to me. I might just stay at middleweight, who knows? I might feel really good. I don’t have to cut too much weight. I don’t think that I’m that small for a middleweight. I think it’s going to work out well. We’ll find that out whenever the fight happens.”

“I think it’s a great time for me to go to middleweight. I’ve already beaten all the top welterweights in Bellator. It is time for them to decide who is going to be the next contender, they need to fight each other.  When there is a contender then I will fight him. In the meantime I’ll just keep fighting  at middleweight.” 

It has been said in the MMA community that Lima is one of the most impressive fighting talents that is not earning his keep with the UFC. It’s a sentiment that Lima seems to agree with when asked if he was the greatest fighter ever to not have competed with the UFC. 

“I think so and a lot of people do too. There is always the talk of how I would do if i was in the UFC, this and that. I have trained with a lot of great fighters so I know where I stand. I really could be a champion at the UFC. Some fans that only watch UFC, they don’t understand that. It’s not about organisations, it’s about fighter’s. If you are good, you are good! I believe I can beat anybody at welterweight, in the whole world. People are always going to say if you are not in the UFC you can not be considered the best, blah,blah,blah but what can you do? If they sign me up to fight, I’ll fight. I really do believe I can beat welterweight at the minute right now.” 

Listen to the full interview below with Sean Sheehan where Lima discusses Joe Rogan, progressing his BJJ game into his now solid striking game. He also talks MVP, his love for the Irish people, wanting to fight on Irish soil and his desire to want to fight in Brazil for the very first time. 

Ian O'Neill is a Kilkenny man living in Canada. You can catch him on Twitter most of the time talking all things MMA. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @ioneillmma.