Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima responded after Michael Page suggested the champ is ducking him, saying to “fight contenders.”
Lima is set to take on Gegard Mousasi in a superfight for the vacant Bellator middleweight championship at Bellator 250 on Thursday. Win or lose, Lima will likely make a title defense of his welterweight bout next, and one of the top contenders in the division is Page. After defeating Ross Houston at Bellator Paris in his last fight, Page suggested that the reason he isn’t fighting for the belt yet is that Lima is ducking him.
Of course, you have to remember that it was only June 2019 that Lima and Page first met, and Lima handed Page the first loss of his MMA career with a crushing KO defeat. MVP has gone on a winning streak since then, but the quality of his opposition hasn’t been elite by any means. Speaking to MMAFighting.com ahead of the Mousasi fight, Lima denied that he’s ducking Page, telling MVP to fight better competition instead.
“Fight contenders. I’m a champion, I’m here to fight contenders. If he wants a shot at me, go fight guys that’s going to put you next in line for a title shot. He’s been good, he’s been winning his fights but I need to fight contenders. You can’t fight people that has less than five fights and then ask for a title fight. No disrespect to anybody. No disrespect to him as well but if you want to fight the champion, you’ve got to fight fights that get you there. It’s not just talk. You’ve got to fight contenders,” Lima said.
“That’s what I’ve been doing my whole career. Every time I lost a belt, I fought the No. 1 guy next in line for it. I had to go through a tournament to get my belt the last time around. You know what to do if you’re ready. If Bellator says you’re ready, I’m here. I’m here for whoever’s next but like I said, I’m a champion and I fight contenders.”
Although Page has a nice winning streak going and he has put on spectacular performances in the past, it’s hard to say that he deserves a title shot when he hasn’t beaten anyone in the top-five to get it. A fight against someone like Lorenz Larkin, a top fighter in the UFC and Bellator, could make sense for a No. 1 contender spot to Lima.
Do you think Michael Page deserves a welterweight title shot against Douglas Lima or does he need another big win?