It’s been tough sledding for Douglas Lima in Bellator’s welterweight division, but “The Phenom” said he knows he still has the talent to surge back toward the title he has already held three times.
Lima heads into his upcoming bout at Bellator 283 riding the first three-fight skid of his 42-fight career. It’s a run of form that he’s far from happy about, but he said he’s staying upbeat and viewing the losses as mere occupational hazards, rather than career-defining setbacks.
“I think it’s the fight game,” he mused during media day ahead of the event in Tacoma, Washington.
“Fighting nothing but the best competition, fought at different weight classes. Can’t let that get you down. I’m just as excited as ever. In the back of my head, it’s like, ‘Come on, three losses already?’ But I don’t let it get to me.”
The tricky run of form for Lima has led some to suggest that the former champ may be dropping into more of a gatekeeper role in Bellator’s uber-competitive welterweight division. But Lima is having none of that.
“I don’t mind what people say. ‘Gatekeeper,’ he said.
“No, I’m here to be the champion. Even after all these losses, I know I’ve still got it. I’ve been here before. I don’t care about what people say, it matters what I think.
“A lot of times, people just see the results. They don’t see the opponent, or how the fight went.
“First was Mousasi, a guy who’s been on the top of the world in a higher weight class. My last fight was a split decision that could’ve gone either way. You can’t let comments like that bring you down.
“As long as I’m healthy and training hard, they can say whatever they want — I know what I have.”
Lima takes on Jason Jackson in the main event on Friday night, and the Brazilian veteran acknowledged the challenge “The Ass-Kicking Machine” will bring on fight night.
“Jason is a great fighter. All my respect to him, as well,” he said.
“We never had any bad trash talk or anything like that. He’s a young guy who wants to get his shot. He’s doing well in Bellator, he has five straight wins. I know he wanted this fight, and here we go.
“I thought this fight would eventually happen. He’s been doing really good, he’s been winning, and he’s in the Top 5 now. We make a good matchup, me and him. Good timing for him. He’s looking for that title shot, and I’m looking for the title shot again, so it’s good timing.”
Lima still has his sights set on more title glory at 170 pounds, but he also hinted that his fighting future may eventually lie at 185 pounds.
“As I get older, the weight cut gets harder,” he admitted.
“I’ve thought about going to middleweight. If my weight keeps going up and the cuts keep getting harder, we might consider going up again.”